Slow Travel and Tourism

Slow Travel and TourismAuthors: Janet Dickinson and Les Lumsdon

Pub: Earthscan

Price: £24.99

Slow Travel and Tourism considers slow travel in relation to a variety of social, economic, and environmental factors, providing a comprehensive exploration of the issues surrounding the emergence of slower forms of travelling. Aimed at tourism students, the book is clearly labelled, well researched and cohesive.

The authors define slow travel as ‘characterised by shorter distances, low-carbon consumption and a greater emphasis on the travel experience’. The text discusses the relationship between slow travel and economic constraints, and suggests that the former may soon become a necessity due to the availability of fossil fuels.

The unstable economy is already having an impact on our travelling habits, and so the text raises many questions about the impact slow travel may have in this regard, suggesting that a progression towards lower-carbon tourism may be inevitable. After comparing travelling habits in developing and developed countries, it becomes evident that developed countries place a much greater emphasis on speed. Maybe it’s time to take our collective foot off the pedal.

After reading this thought-provoking text, I was, admittedly, left with more questions than answers. However, the overwhelming impression I received was that the outlook for slow travel and tourism is bright; indeed, the book concludes that it may ‘in time, become the epiphany of low-carbon tourism’. But it remains to be seen how long this will take.

For those without an in-depth knowledge of tourism, the book’s many statistics and tables may prove off-putting, but for the committed, the academic or the environmentally-conscious tourist, Slow Travel and Tourism is an invaluable, informative resource on a previously underexplored field.