Taking on tourism

Traveling underway as summer approaches

The morality of tourism has been a popular debate since traveling grew more popular, but there are always ways to become a more respectful tourist.

Kaylee Ostrowski/FHS Press

The morality of tourism has been a popular debate since traveling grew more popular, but there are always ways to become a more respectful tourist.

Imagine relaxing on a sunny, tropical beach, admiring the architecture in a foreign city or enjoying ethnic foods with flavors you’ve never experienced before. Traveling allows for one to break away from their mundane routine and explore new corners of the world, but at what cost?  

Tourism, for many tropical countries, plays a vital role in the economy. With tourism, many smaller countries have the opportunity for more jobs, demand for food and crafts and growth for more facilities such as roads. 

“I think tourism is necessary for Hawaii’s economy because prices for locals would be 10 times as high as they are now since it is tourism that feeds into building and maintaining the community,” senior Hannah Bryant said, a Freedom student who was recently a resident of Hawaii.

 On the other hand, tourism can also disturb cultures, allow price increases at local shops and cause pollution within the environment. 

“A lot of the time I will see tourists feeding the wildlife such as turtles and the state fish, the Humuhumunukunukuapua, which is problematic because they don’t hunt for themselves anymore and they will develop aggressive behavior,” Bryant said.

Of course, traveling is something not many people plan to give up, so in what ways can people travel more ethically? Many feel that learning a country’s language, being educated on a country’s culture and respecting the environment is a good place to start. 

“I think even if you take the time to learn a few important phrases that goes a long way with the locals because people in other countries tend to assume that we as Americans don’t care enough to learn another language,” Ms. Ruthanne Gudzan said. 

Gudzan is the Spanish 2, 3 and 4 teacher at Freedom. She has a vast amount of experience going to foreign countries, and she has even lived with a host family in Costa Rica.
“I’ve been watching videos about the culture in Spain and Paris and have also been working on my Spanish in preparation for the trip I am taking with the school this summer,” junior Brandi Bonzo said.

Others also believe that another important step toward becoming a better tourist is educating oneself on the culture that they are visiting.

 “It is very important to learn about cultural standards in other countries. You want to make sure you know what’s acceptable to do in public and what’s not. Especially when it comes to countries in the Middle East where public displays of affection can be illegal,” Gudzan said. 

Understanding a country’s culture when traveling can be extremely important as to not offend anyone, or even worse, get in trouble with the law.

With summer swiftly approaching, when visiting another country, many feel that showing respect for its language, culture and environment are crucial ways to be a better tourist.