On Ecotourism in Colombia with Megan Epler Wood

GlyphsExploring the country’s ecological and social climate. 

National Geographic sat down with the director of our International Sustainable Tourism Initiative, Megan Epler Wood, to learn about her recent trip to Colombia. 

Epler Wood explained her philosophy on tourism, something she sees as a way of life rather than an act of consumption.  'I try not to look at what cannot be missed, she said. The more we think about what we cannot miss, the more likely we are to miss what is right in front of us. I see tourism as a way of experiencing the world, which allows us to open our minds, not try to be in the "right place." For this reason, I try to get a feeling for the place, the history, the people, and of course the landscape and its immense animal and plant diversity.  All those things are unforgettable in Colombia.'"

Epler Wood has dedicated her life to studying effective cultural interchange and the way it can help developing economies. She recently released a book compiling her work: Sustainable Tourism on a Finite Planet. The book helps all involved in international tourism to consider effective practices and protect natural resources from constantly escalating numbers of travelers. Tourism is more than a leisure activity; it’s a marker of a new cultural wave: 'Technology and the growing global middle class are driving a travel revolution which requires a new paradigm in managing tourism destinations.'” 

Click here to read the full interview. 


National Geographic

August 8, 2017