Jeff Greenwald is a veteran traveler, journalist, author (Shopping for Buddhas, The Size of the World) and arguably the most persuasive guy around for ethical travel. In fact, he co-founded Ethical Traveler, “a global community dedicated to exploring the ambassadorial potential of world travel.” I heard Jeff speak at the Adventure Travel Summit in Quebec in October of this year and later on, had a chance to ask him some questions.
Okay, so what exactly is Ethical Traveler?
Ethical Traveler, which I co-founded in 2003, is the first international alliance uniting adventurers, tourists, travel agencies and outfitters — everyone who sees travel as a positive force in the global community – into a single action group. We work to maximize the positive impacts of travel, and band together in the service of human rights and protection of the environment. Our mission — and I admit it's ambitious – is to empower travelers to change the world. We're working to create a shift in the way travelers view themselves, and their influence within the global community. The time is right, I think. Travel is now the world's biggest industry — even bigger than oil. There's a growing ability and maybe an imperative – for travelers to play a more active role. Our core belief is that motivated travelers, mindful of our planet's social and environmental concerns, can be instrumental in creating a better world.