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Airbnb has expanded rapidly, with its listings growing 100% every year.
A lot of Kenya's tourism revenue comes from wildlife tourism. In return, this money can be used to care for the natural environment and surroundings and for efforts such as saving endangered species like black rhinos. But, for endangered species like cheetahs, wildlife tourism can be dangerous.
Influencers can fund their lavish-looking lifestyles by working with brands and hotels around the world, exchanging exposure for a place to stay, although the industry has its drawbacks.
Following is a transcript of the video:
Aliza Gulab: People are traveling now more than ever before. With a computer in hand, consumers have control over what we want to see, where we want to go, and how we choose to get there. Thanks to the drop in the cost of air travel ... Oh, wait. You didn't know?
Take a look at this chart. Airline travel is close to the cheapest it's ever been. The average ticket price has decreased since 1980. And the massive rise of social media means wanderlust-worthy travel inspo is right at our fingertips. As we continue to flock the skies and explore the world, we're changing the way we do it. Here are just a few ways travel has changed this decade.
800 people signed up to host when the website Airbedandbreakfast.com first launched, and there were 80 guest arrivals. Fast-forward 11 years and over 6 million listings later, Airbnb has made it possible for the everyday traveler to spend a night in a tree house, tiny house, or luxury mansion, all with a personal touch. The company has expanded rapidly, with its listings growing 100% every year and a foray into local-led tours and experiences as well as lodging.
Look, Airbnb is great for travelers like myself, who prefer unique and convenient stays for affordable prices, but the independent nature of Airbnb means it's not without risks. Airbnb has had trouble with fake hosts, fake listings, and in certain cities like Barcelona, the abundance of short-term vacation rentals is driving up rents and cutting into the affordable housing stock.
Since Instagram's launch in 2010, the rise of travel bloggers and photographers with mass followings on the platform has transformed the way the average person experiences travel. If you follow a travel influencer who constantly posts pictures of their perfect vacations, chances are you're scrolling through their page looking for inspiration and thinking, "How can I be there, right now?"
Influencers can fund their lavish-looking lifestyles by working with brands and hotels around the world, exchanging exposure for a place to stay, although the industry has its drawbacks. It's great that off-the-beaten destinations are getting some attention from social media, but when crowds flock to one destination, it can get ruined. There's even a growing movement against geotagging on the platform to avoid "spoiling" low-traffic locations.
Other downsides of travel influencers can include misleading representations of places, like these famous gates in Bali, which tourists flock to for a perfect Instagram picture. Seems like they could be the entrance to a grand temple. But did you know these "famous" gates are actually just the entrance to a golf resort? Yeah.
And please don't put yourself in any dangerous situations to visit a place just for a selfie. The FOMO we gain from scrolling through Instagram feeds isn't always worth it. Travel influencers can be a great source of inspiration, but for the average traveler, they can't replace research and education.
With such a massive increase in overall travel over the past decade, jet travel and development have caused some environmental issues. It's important, then, that some people are putting more of an emphasis on visiting countries responsibly. Sustainable tourism basically means a traveler respects the environment, cultural heritage, and people of the destination they are visiting. Ecotourism is one element of sustainable travel that brings in a lot of revenue. A lot of Kenya's tourism revenue comes from the wildlife tourism. In return, this money can be used to care for the natural environment and surroundings and for efforts such as saving endangered species like black rhinos.
But wildlife tourism can also be bad for endangered animals like cheetahs. Research shows that cheetahs find it harder to produce cubs in areas that receive a lot of tourists, even if they're in protected areas. And while some reserves, like Maasai Mara, make a popular tourist destination, travel accommodations are being prioritized over natural habitats, which ensures a good experience for humans but takes away a home for animals.
On the other hand, now, with more awareness on environmental issues like climate change, some travelers and companies are pushing for more sustainable methods of transportation and opting for slower travel to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Air travel is accountable for about 2.5% of global carbon dioxide emissions, and using the railroad is one way to travel long distances without releasing as many emissions. Slower travel like this allows people to spend more time in places and really be able to enjoy their experiences.
You may have noticed more people are traveling during the winter months. This means two things. During winter, instead of flocking from the cold weather to warmer destinations, travelers are more interested in experiencing other countries during the cold months and even seeing how the holidays are celebrated in other cultures. Finland, a top winter destination, continues to see growth in tourism each year. Another reason to travel during the winter is because it's considered "off-season," which means travelers can avoid high prices and large crowds.
In 2017, a Qantas Airlines survey found that about 80% of Americans would consider traveling during the winter. It's just more relaxing with less crowds. And, hey, by saving on airfare, you'll have extra cash to indulge in more food and activities during your vacation.
You ever wish you had the freedom to travel all the time and still make money? This is a reality for millions of digital nomads, who work remotely and make their own schedule in order to live and travel more freely. MBO Partners found in 2018 that 4.8 million US citizens identify themselves as digital nomads. Digital nomads aren't always full-time travelers.
Some simply prefer to live in a lower-cost area than the place where they work. But companies like Remote Year, which coordinates mid-term stays in a variety of cities around the world for remote professionals, are making the dream of traveling and living around the world a reality.
So, with all of the ways the travel industry has changed and expanded, what's on your travel bucket list for the next decade? Let us know in the comments below.Join the conversation about this story »