Travel Book Suggestion: 'Overbooked' Reveals Dark Side of Travel Industry
Travel is so damn exciting that it can often blind us to the harsh realities it bestows on both global and local levels. While we certainly believe in the positive that results from travel in terms of personal gain for individuals and, to a point, monetary gain for destinations, no one should be ignorant to the major political and economical agendas that surround the world of travel and the impact it has on communities within countries. In her book Overbooked: The Exploding Business of Travel and Tourism, Elizabeth Becker investigates the effects of the world's top industry, both positive and negative, but mostly focusing on the latter.
Through personal experiences and interviews, she sheds light on topics ranging from the detrimental effects the cruise industry has on the environment and how it has ruined the authenticity in cities (and how they get away with it through political loopholes) to the booming segment of Chinese travelers that will essentially determine the future of tourism. She takes a hard look at some of the world's leading countries in terms of tourism, analyzing what they're doing right and what has gone wrong, including how France has remained an example to follow and how much trouble Africa has had preserving its natural parks.
Becker's prose and approach is typically journalistic, so don't expect a ton of color or inspiring description, but the voice fits the mood of the subject matter in that sense, staying true to her overall point that travel tends to be glorified when it should be grilled.
This book won't necessarily make you want to travel less, but it may make you rethink your approach and how you spend your money. Because of that, we recommend it to all, as Becker makes it clear that ignorance within the travel industry will only remain bliss for so long. You can buy both new and used copies here.