Destinations

The Amazon is on fire and tourism stands to lose because of it, Poon Tip warns

Christian Fleetwood

Christian Fleetwood

The Amazon Rainforest, considered the lungs of the world, are on fire, and tourism stands to lose if they aren’t put out, according to G Adventures founder Bruce Poon Tip.

The rainforest is in a state of emergency after seeing record-setting wildfires fuelled by deforestation.

Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research (INPE) has reported a record 72,843 fires this year – representing an 80 per cent increase from last year – which have covered nearly half of Brazil in smoke, displacing Indigenous communities, and putting industry and the health of the planet at risk.

Image (NASA): The scale of the fires is still unclear, but NASA noted they could be spotted from space.
Image (NASA): The scale of the fires is still unclear, but NASA noted they were large enough for smoke to be spotted from space.

Poon Tip said tourism is just one of the many positive forces that could be weakened if the Amazon fires continue.

“Crises and the negative headlines they generate can, and are, spreading as fast as the fires, sending travellers elsewhere — in some cases — for years,” he said.

“But travel aside, these forests are vital to local and indigenous peoples’ well-being, and irreplaceable to our planet’s climate health.

“Brazil’s leadership has an opportunity now to step up and protect the Amazon from further destruction, or stand by and watch its benefits be lost to all. We hope they do the right thing.”

Brazil’s far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, who favours development in the Amazon, said the country is not equipped to fight the fires. Bolsonaro’s comments also inflamed environmentalists when he blamed non-government organisations for starting the fires, but did not provided any proof backing his claims, as reported by The Guardian

High profile politicians, activists, sportspeople and celebrities like French President Emmanuel Macron, Greta Thunberg, Cristiano Ronaldo and Leonardo DiCaprio have raised awareness of the fires on social media.

More than 3.5 million people liked a photo of burning forest that Leonardo DiCaprio shared on his Instagram feed.

“Terrifying to think that the Amazon … has been on fire and burning for the last 16 days running, with literally no media coverage whatsoever! Why?” he posted.

A spokesperson from G Adventures told Travel Weekly tourist travel within South America has not been highly impacted at this stage, as these regions of the Amazon are remote and not highly visited by tourists.

According to the spokesperson, the fires are not yet near the parts of the Amazon that the tour operator’s trips visit, in Peru and Ecuador.

The Brazilian state of Acre, which is closer to Puerto Maldonado, Peru where the majority of G Adventures’ travellers experience the Amazon, has been put on alert.

Adventure World Travel managing director Neil Rodgers said one of the best ways to help preserve the Amazon is by visiting it.

“All of our local operators are committed to the ongoing preservation of the Amazon,” he said.


G Adventures vice president for social enterprise and sustainability Jamie Sweeting will speak at Travel DAZE – the travel industry’s most disruptive conference of the year. To attend this year’s event, which tackles sustainability in all its forms, on Wednesday 28 August at the NSW Teachers Federation in Sydney, click HERE.

TDAZE19_sponsor_block

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Leave a Reply

Aviation

Canberra Airport closed as fire services use airfield to fight “out of control” bushfire

Canberra Airport has cancelled departures and arrivals as its airfield is used by aviation fire services to facilitate aerial firefighting efforts.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Hotel Wrap: Accor’s new rideshare partner, Melia Hotels International opens first Thai hotel + MORE!

Welcome to the Hotel Wrap. This week’s addition features some gobsmackingly wonderful properties which we warn could cause a severe case of FOMO.

Share

CommentComments

Road & Rail

Road & Rail Wrap: Railbookers and Amtrak sale, Indian Railways to introduce pod hotel + MORE!

Planning your next overseas trip but riddled with flight shame? Bury some of it on receipt of this week’s Road & Rail Wrap.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Leading demographer says purpose is defining modern-day travel

by Christian Fleetwood

Purpose, aspiration, and the pursuit of authentic experiences are defining the way we travel, according to a well-known Australian demographer.

Share

CommentComments

Wholesalers

The Excite Holidays news that agents didn’t want to receive

by Huntley Mitchell

The first creditors meeting about the collapse of Excite Holidays has revealed the wholesaler’s debt is estimated to be up to $35.1 million, and the news gets worse.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Tourism Australia launches ‘Holiday Here This Year’ campaign to boost bushfire recovery

It’s yet another campaign from Tourism Australia. Hopefully this one won’t need to be pulled like the Kylie ad.

Share

CommentComments

Technology

Webjet boss scores massive pay rise, as sale speculation lingers

by Huntley Mitchell

John Guscic’s salary has almost doubled, meaning he’s probably down at his local Maserati dealership right now purchasing a new sports car or few.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Viking unveils new online trade marketing centre

Do you find selling Viking is a bit of a breeze? Well, prepare to put both feet up and recline your office chair thanks to the cruise line’s newest offering.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Velocity Frequent Flyer’s CEO to fly the coop

Karl Schuster will be shedding a tear or two over his impending departure, as he prepares to kiss goodbye unlimited Velocity Frequent Flyer points and free stays on Sir Richard’s private island.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Flight diverted after passenger takes off pants, kicks chairs and hits flight attendant

According to fellow passengers, the man’s girlfriend also got involved by spitting at them and threatening legal action.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Boeing: Judge orders pilots suing manufacturer over 737 MAX to reveal their names

by Christian Fleetwood

Pilots suing Boeing over lost wages have been given an ultimatum: reveal their names or withdraw the case.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Failed travel agency issued customers fake plane tickets before going under

Yet another travel agency has filed for liquidation, this time after issuing customers with fake plane tickets.

Share

CommentComments