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EXPLORING ECOTOURISM

Travel Preparation
by Ron Mader

PLANETA WIKI

Be prepared to be surprised.
- Chance Notebook

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FLICKR ALBUM: Surprise


Let's review travel prep from the pov of visitors and locals.

VISITORS

One of the reasons travelers make a trip elsewhere is to escape cause-and-effect logic. Many travelers aim toward spontaneity and adventure. That said, if they don't make proper checklists, do required reading ahead of their journey, they invariably miss out on engaging experiences.

Without denying the joy of the unexpected, preparation allows travelers to fashion journeys in a harmonious and purposeful manner.

LOCALS

Locals need to consider how to prepare themselves for the changing tourism market. This includes creating lists of volunteer opportunities as well as regional tourism strategies (example: New Zealand).

For institutions and individuals alike, it's a matter of sussing out which values to prioritize and who to work with. There are opportunities for creating shared objectives and working out action plans. True, these priorities and players may change over time, but when common goals can be articulated at the outset, the process has been established that values communication. All of this is set in place during the preparation phase.

INTERACTION

Ideally we should see creative ways for travelers and locals to interact, long before and long after meeting in person.

One example of travel preparation reviews public markets. What might be a rushed 30-minute visit becomes a search for familiar faces and seasonal products.

QUESTIONS

How does one prepare to be surprised?
What is the value of travel preparation?
How well do airports, bus stations and info centers orientate arriving visitors?


AUTHOR

Ron Mader is the responsible travel correspondent for Transitions Abroad and host of the award-winning Planeta.com website.


FEATURES

g The value of continuity
g Slow travel

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g Surprise
g What is the value of attention?
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