Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Doom and Gloom Tourism Boom

Here's an interesting angle on the global warming issue.

Forget about Cancun and the Cayman Islands. From the tropics to the ice fields, doom and gloom is big business. Instead of being the first to climb a mountain or scuba dive at a pristine coral reef, adventuresome travelers are lining up to be the ones to see things last...

Dennis and Stacie Woods, a married couple from Seattle, choose their vacation destinations based on what they fear is fated to destruction.


Next on their list: the Arctic before the ice is gone.

The Woodses are part of a travel trend that Ken Shapiro, the editor in chief of TravelAge West, a magazine for travel agents, calls "the Tourism of Doom."

"It's not just about going to an exotic place," Shapiro said.

"It's about going someplace they expect will be gone in a generation."

From the tropics to the ice fields, doom is big business. Quark Expeditions, a leader in Arctic travel, doubled capacity for its 2008 season of trips to the northern and southernmost reaches of the planet. Travel agents report clients are increasingly requesting trips to see the melting glaciers of Patagonia, the threatened coral of the Great Barrier Reef and the eroding atolls of the Maldives, Shapiro said.


But, [spokesman for the Will Steger Foundation, an environmental education organization in Minnesota, John Stetson] says, traveling by jet to see the icebergs contributes to global warming, which makes the icebergs melt faster. "It's hard to fault somebody who wants to see something before it disappears, but it's unfortunate that in their pursuit of doing that, they contribute to the problem," [Stetson] said.

Anyone here taken a "Doom and Gloom" trip?

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