Book Review: The Ethical Travel Guide

The new 2009 edition of The Ethical Travel Guide: Your Passport to Exciting Alternative Holidays by Polly Pattullo and Orely Minelli starts with forty pages of discussion on the topic of ethical travel, written by Polly Pattullo. There are facts and figures on the state of tourism in the world at the moment, and then some enlightening information on where travel seems unethical these days. For example, Pattullo describes the situation on the Maldives, the islands we associate with luxury dive and snorkel holidays, but it’s also a country where 42% of its population live in poverty on around US$1 a day, and don’t benefit from tourism at all.

The first part of the book continues through particular ethical issues, like whether or not we should fly in planes in these days of climate change and carbon emissions talks, and a quick mention of the rights of porters on treks as well.

The second half of The Ethical Travel Guide divides the world into continental regions and gives us a directory of accommodation, volunteer organisations, sights and tour operators which fit ethical travel principles. Most entries have just one paragraph of description but there are often websites given to find further information. If you are planning a trip and want to access ethical operators and companies wherever possible, then this guide will give you plenty of ideas.