Magazine article Geographical

Editor's Letter

Magazine article Geographical

Editor's Letter

Article excerpt

While many lament the rise of our consumer society, it has brought us many more choices and given us more influence as individuals. In recent times people have become aware that they can vote with their wallets by avoiding firms that invest in environmentally destructive practices or use child labour. The success of shops such as The Body Shop, high-profile campaigns against buying rainforest products and the boom in ecotourism are evidence that people are indeed making informed choices. So it is strange that this awareness has not filtered through to the trekking industry in the Himalaya. Here, many tour operators use local porters to carry the bags of wealthy Westerners, with little thought for their health or safety. Some porters have become ill or even died, simply because they have not had protective clothing or shelter. You can read how groups are working to improve the porters' lives on page 14.

Happily, there are examples of where the tourism industry and local communities are working together for mutual gain. …

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