Jul 25 2023


12:30 pm - 2:00 pm

Webinar: The will to travel – (too) far and (too) wide?

According to figures provided by United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), in spite of temporary slowdowns like the 2009 economic crisis or the 2020-2021 pandemic, international tourism keeps increasing around the globe. First, this raises a wide array of issues around social justice, ecological impacts (including, but not limited to climate change), intercultural impacts, gentrification and colonial structures, to name the best-known ones.

Nevertheless, more and more people are nevertheless engaging in international travel for a number of reasons that cannot be explained by marketing alone. In Europe travelling during the school holidays has become something that many treat as inevitable or non-negotiable, and in many other regions being a well-travelled person is regarded as a status sign (symbolic capital).

The 2020 lockdown seemed to exacerbate this desire to see the world (outside) and, more often than not, this means getting on a plane to travel to relatively distant places in a short time. The fake flights in Taiwan airport may be taken as proof of these sort of “withdrawal symptoms”. Yet, we should not disregard that to travel has often be regarded as a possibility to expand one’s horizons and to grow as a human being.

In this webinar we aim to address the intersection of these premises with questions such as: do we need to travel far to have a significant experience? How do we frame the desire to keep travelling from a human perspective, in spite of all its undesired effects? Why is it so hard to stop travelling to faraway destinations, either for leisure or for business, when alternatives exist?

In addressing these dynamics, we will also consider ideas including proximity travel and the subsidiarity principle. Proximity travel refers to touring nearer to home and subsidiarity prioritises narrower travel circuits in order to reduce tourism’s contribution to climate change and allow local areas to thrive through localised tourism. We explore these ideas for the degrowth of the travel industry while keeping in mind what a climate-just mobility system would look like.


Neus Crous Costa is a lecturer (University of Girona) and researcher in the fields of tourism as personal development, heritage management, cooperation and regenerative culture. She has participated in educational and social volunteering and in recent times has become active in ecological activism.

Freya Higgins-Desbiolles is an academic (University of South Australia) and an activist (Tourism Alert and Action Forum). Her work focuses on just and ecologically sustainable tourism. She is the co-editor of the two recent books Socialising Tourism: Rethinking Tourism for Social and Ecological Justice (2022) & The Local Turn in Tourism: Empowering Communities (2023).

Date and time: July 25, 12:30 pm (CEST, GMT +2) // 4 pm (Delhi, GMT +5.5) // 6:30 pm (Manila, Shanghai, GMT+8) // 8 pm (Adelaide, GMT +9.5)

Please register here:

Registration Webinar Tourism July 2023