As society grows, we realize some things we collectively celebrated aren’t ethical. Nowhere is that more apparent than in the travel industry, where adventures everyone flocked to thirty years ago are now considered wrong.
Here are some of the most prominent tourist draws of the last few decades that we now realize were wrong to engage in.
Every traveler to Southeast Asia longs to interact with the world’s largest land mammal. Many places offer elephant rides, allowing tourists to get up close and personal with these majestic beasts.
However, we now understand these wondrous creatures’ profound intelligence and realize how awful the tourism industry treats them. Elephants endure abuse, neglect, and horrid conditions, all while being stripped from their families so travelers can have this experience.
Bears and Coca-Cola
A place in Minnesota featured caged black bears who loved coke. Tourists could pay to feed the beasts this sugary drink, resulting in overweight bears stuck in tiny cages who constantly craved the unhealthy beverage.
Many people take volunteer trips to underdeveloped parts of the world to “help” the people build schools, wells, and other activities.
However, most people going on these trips don’t have the skills required to do these things, and the things they “build” don’t work. It is about making the volunteers feel good about themselves, not helping.
Climbing the Ruins
People used to climb all over famous ruins like Stonehenge and Chichén Itzá. Though it was allowed, we’re now realizing that the massive influx of travelers and climbers can cause permanent harm to these ancient structures.
Somber Places for Social Media Clout
Far too many people post cute selfies and “fun” videos of themselves on the grounds of humanity’s most atrocious acts. The gas chamber at Auschwitz isn’t the place for a live stream. We’re learning to treat these places with the weight they deserve.
Everyone loved to visit Seaworld and watch the massive whales perform tricks. However, movies like Free Willie and Blackfish taught us that these majestic creatures deserve better. They’re trapped in tiny tanks, stripped from their families, and forced to perform.
Airbnb used to be a fantastic resource for meeting locales and exploring the local culture. However, as it exploded in popularity, the profiteers rushed in. Now, investors own a host of Airbnbs in every city, limiting housing for local populations.
Rich kids head out to impoverished countries and then beg their way around. Their begging takes money from the local economy to support their travels.
Impoverished people aren’t zoo animals. We shouldn’t visit poorer countries just to watch the poor people who live there suffer.
Tiger experiences allow tourists to get up close and personal with the world’s largest and most dangerous cats. Unfortunately, tigers are typically drugged to prevent them from doing what tigers do, which raises many ethical questions about how we treat our fellow creatures.
Visiting North Korea
Some people’s bucket lists include visiting every country in the world. However, it’s not ethical to see every country. Visiting fascist dictatorships like North Korea only puts more money into the hands of its oppressive rulers.
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Morbid Travel Destinations
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Visit a Real Haunted Hotel
For a real-life encounter, consider staying at one of America’s most haunted hotels.
Enjoy Fictional Horror Instead