General Article Why there’s nothing wrong with being a tourist

Topic Selected: Travel and Tourism Book Volume: 365
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By Cathy Adams

A few days ago, I read a worrying travel piece in the Times of India about North Sentinel – the remote Andaman island, flung off the eastern coast of India, inhabited by tribes entirely untouched by the modern world. You might remember the story of missionary John Allen Chau, who travelled to the protected island last year to spread Christianity, only to be killed by tribes people.

Suffice to say it’s not anywhere that should be on anyone’s bucket list, whatever kind of traveller they are.

‘If you’re an adventurous soul and want to explore the unknown, a visit to North Sentinel Island can be an option,’ the (now edited) piece trilled. ‘You can become the next Columbus and let the world know about your adventurous travel. Or, just get hunted by spears!’

How have we got to this point? Where the only travel experiences worth writing about involve (probable) death?

I’ve got one answer: disdain for the bread-and-butter tourist.

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