How Global Tourism Changes The World

Here comes the big travel season. We look at how global tourism is changing the world.

In this Jan. 9, 2013 file photo the Italian-built cruise ship MS Azura sails past the EYE film institute as it leaves the port of Amsterdam, Netherlands. (AP)

In this Jan. 9, 2013 file photo the Italian-built cruise ship MS Azura sails past the EYE film institute as it leaves the port of Amsterdam, Netherlands. (AP)

In 1960, we humans, from all over, took 25 million trips abroad.  Last year?  2012?  We took, collectively, one billion foreign trips.  Trips abroad.  Trips around the world.  Global travel has grown and grown and grown into a massive business, on the scale of energy, finance, agriculture.

We snap up tickets for a trip abroad, a package tour, a great adventure – and so do a billion other people.  Our collective footprint is huge.  It is changing the world we light out to see.

This hour, On Point:  From Angkor Wat to the Taj Mahal, how global travel and tourism are reshaping the world.

– Tom Ashbrook


Elizabeth Becker, author of “Overbooked: The Exploding Business of Travel and Tourism.”

From Tom’s Reading List

The New York Times: 100 Places to Visit Before They Die — “As Elizabeth Becker observes in ‘Overbooked: The Exploding Business of Travel and Tourism,’ her meticulously reported and often disturbing exposé of the travel industry, the world has gotten smaller — but not often for the better. A former correspondent for The New York Times, Becker crisscrossed the globe, from the beaches of Sri Lanka to the game reserves of sub-Saharan Africa, from the vineyards of France to America’s national parks, measuring the impact of the tourist trade.”

National Geographic: New Book Will Open Your Eyes About Travel — “Author Elizabeth Becker has found a giant gap in journalistic coverage and stepped squarely into the middle of it. Even though it’s under our noses, beneath our feet, even in our happier dreams, rarely has the investigative story she recounts in her new book previously received the coverage it deserves: The rampant growth of travel and tourism.”

Excerpt: ‘Overbooked’ by Elizabeth Becker

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