BANGKOK -- In a model demonstration of tourism's potential to balance nature and humans, part of the cost of staying at the Six Senses Ninh Van Bay hotel in Vietnam is earmarked to support a nearby community of endangered black-shanked douc langur monkeys. Catching a glimpse of them on a hike has become part of the thrill at the resort. The irony now, amid COVID-19 travel restrictions, is that tourists have become the endangered species.
In 2019 the travel and tourism industry accounted for 10.3% of global gross domestic product and employed 330 million people, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council's latest Economic Impact & Global Trends report. This year, though, it feels as though travelers are outnumbered by the staff of myriad organizations -- many now grouped in the Future of Tourism Coalition -- dedicated to formulating how, where and why it will be best for them (and the planet) to travel again.