Overtourism. Influencers flouting local rules for the perfect ‘gram. Ignoring the locals living in the destinations we visit as we book Airbnbs, crowd streets, behave badly, and generate waste that will stay in our destination long after we leave.
There was a lot of bad travel behavior pre-COVID.
Sure, there have always been tourists behaving badly ever since the first tourist existed. But, in an age where travel has become so easy and ubiquitous for so many for the first time, those problems have amplified a thousandfold. Destinations didn’t have the necessary infrastructure to handle the flood of tourists cheap travel brought.
From flouting rules and refusing to wear a mask to hosting parties, coughing on others, and just generally being selfish, the pandemic has shown us that the world is filled with more assholes than we thought. But, despite all of that, when it comes to the future of travel, I think the pandemic is going to make it better.
As we yearn to reconnect with friends, family, and the world at large, I think that what we’ve gone through has also given many of us a chance to reflect on all the things we took for granted: the outdoors, community, neighborhood restaurants, and the arts.
There is a movement among those in travel to use the pandemic as a chance for positive change. You see that not only among destinations but also big brands, resorts, and travel agent organizations too.