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Watch the trailer

This film is a wake-up call.

We need to dramatically rethink the way we travel.

In 1950, there were 25 million international tourist arrivals. In 2020, that number was expected to be 1.6 billion. That means more people traveling than at any other point in history.

Travel is in an unfortunate state – and that’s even before COVID-19 brought it to a temporary standstill. Overtourism magnified the increasing impact on the environment, wildlife, and vulnerable populations around the world. Unintentionally, tourists have been destroying the very things they have come to see. Tourism reached a tipping point.

Yet, travel is also an opportunity. It can be leveraged as a force for good – to promote conservation, alleviate poverty, and positively transform the lives of people living in host communities, while fostering cultural connection and understanding between people from all walks of life. Tourism can spread peace and be the greatest form of wealth distribution the world has ever seen. This forced pause has presented us with the opportunity to reshape the travel industry as we know it.

This poignant film explores our ability to harness tourism’s power in a way that creates shared value for all – travelers and host communities alike – while preserving the places and natural resources we treasure most.

Change starts with us.

Featuring

Elizabeth Becker

Author, Overbooked: The Exploding Business of Travel and Tourism

Lek Chailert

Founder, Save Elephant Foundation

Costas Christ

Editor at Large, National Geographic Traveler

Judy Kepher Gona

President, Sustainable Travel and Tourism Agenda

Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE

Founder, the Jane Goodall Institute & UN Messenger of Peace

Gary Knell

CEO, National Geographic Partners

Bruce Poon Tip

Founder, G Adventures

Jonathan Tourtellot

CEO, Destination Stewardship Centre

Meenu Vadera

Founder, Sakha Cabs For Women

Arnie Weissmann

Editor in Chief, Travel Weekly

Production Stills

THE FILMMAKERS

Tyson Sadler

Director, Writer and Producer

Jesse Mann

Editor and Writer

Stephen Chandler Whitehead

Director of Photography

Liane Thomas

Executive Producer

Bruce Poon Tip

Executive Producer

Anthony Fung

Composer, Original Score

Anton Peterson

Composer, Original Score

Evan Miles

Sound Editor and Sound Designer

DIRECTOR’S STATEMENT

As a filmmaker, I’ve had the privilege of travelling to some of the world’s most remote, fragile, and beautiful places.  These experiences have shaped me but also given me a sense of responsibility for ensuring that future generations can experience these wonders.

Over the past 3 years, this film took us on a journey to 14 different countries where we interviewed dozens of leading travel experts, tour operators, academics, as well as travellers and service workers in host communities who are leveraging tourism to improve their quality of life. In the process, we amassed nearly 400 hours of footage that was edited into a 90 minute film that pulls back the curtain and shows us the true cost of travel – on the environment, wildlife, and host communities.

The process of creating this film has been an incredible learning and growth experience. The miracle intersection of technology and modern travel allows us to book a flight with the click of a button and board a plane to virtually every corner of the globe – but isn’t without its challenges. Massive crowds of tourists are causing environmental degradation, dangerous conditions, as well as the economic impoverishment and pricing-out of locals. We need to rethink the way we travel or else our impact will be irreversible.

Despite the harsh impacts that travel can have on our planet, travel is also a force for good. It’s a universal language that connects people regardless of their age or their gender or their income or where they come from. And if we actually get out into the world and explore it, we uncover amazing things and make ourselves better people and hopefully have a positive impact too.

This filmmaking journey culminated during a global pandemic where international travel has been virtually halted. As the world slowly opens its borders again, we, as travellers, have the opportunity to be the driving force that paves a new way to travel. A more thoughtful way that protects both people and places, and secures a positive future for destinations and host communities for generations to come.

Technical Info

Runtime: Approx 99 Minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
Coloured By Technicolor
5.1 Surround Sound Mix
Production Dates: May 2018 - August 2020
Post Production Dates: June 2018 - July 2021

TAKE ACTION

Animal entertainment is animal cruelty.

Children are not tourist attractions.

Support community tourism enterprises.

Be a better traveller.

MORE INFORMATION AND RESOURCES

World Animal Protection

Equality In Tourism

EDUCATION

Take these free online courses from Wageningen University:

Sustainable Tourism: Rethinking the future

Sustainable Tourism: Society & Environmental Aspects

CONTACT SALES AGENT

Obscured Pictures
RJ Millard
11 West 25th Street, 7th Floor
New York, NY 10010
212.620.0727

Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE photo credit: Marco Grob

Copyright © 2021