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Ethical Questions about Travel and Tourism Discussed at OR&R Diversity Event

 JULY 22, 2019 — Last week, over 50 OR&R participants gathered to discuss some of the ethical questions about travel and tourism.

Suitcase with flip-flops, sunglasses, hat, etc.
Image credit: CC0/Public domain.

Hosts Meg Ewald and Kristen Faiferlick shared high-level considerations related to the social and economic dynamics of tourism, the responsibility of westerners traveling in developing nations, and tricky issues such as bartering, animal attractions, and "voluntourism" (volunteering during travel). 

In the discussion, participants shared stories from living, working, and traveling abroad. They raised and discussed difficult questions about work-related travel, and situations where locals were charged more than tourists. Staying true to NOAA's mission, they also discussed how to travel in an environmentally conscious way, including reducing plastic waste, reducing erosion on popular hiking trails, and preventing the spread of invasive species. 

Overall it was a fun and thought-provoking experience and happened just in time for many of our summer holidays. 

For more information visit the event page on the OR&R Intranet or contact

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Last updated Friday, July 26, 2019 3:33pm PDT