Is travel our right? – the concept of right & when it’s just wrong

We value travel. We sell it, we participate in it and as travelers we sometimes really need it. We do not know how you feel about this but when we read the outcomes of the research of the negative impact of tourism we are worried about the damage done to cities, streets, parks, mountains, ancient sites or beaches.

With the disrupters in the industry like Airbnb, the cheap flight carriers and the huge growth of number of cruise ships and their passengers the balance is lost, the benefits do not up weigh to the negative outcomes anymore. This has to change and will change. More and more governments and city councils take their responsibility and undertake action. Thailand closed down The Beach (yes the one of film The Beach). In Peru you have to pay for a permit to enter the country, for Machu Pichu there are restrictions when you can visit it and you have to pay for it, not a bit but quite a lot.

Our friends from at Responsible Travel, raised this issue in a very interesting article we like to share the headlines with you to give you some food for thoughts about this subject. At we believe that these measurements are necessary and that travel is not just a right at all costs. It has to balance out, that is what sustainable tourism is about for us. We see travel as a privilege and not a right. This is necessary to keep our planet healthy and the people who live on it happy.

Travel is something special, exploring cities, meeting new people, learning about other cultures and habits in a time you do not have anything else on your mind. But it has a flip side of it as well, and this is the issue around over-tourism. The residents of Venice, Dubrovnik, Barcelona, Amsterdam and cruise ship destinations from Santorini to Skye, don’t agree with the statement of travelers that it is a right to travel. They are understandably shouting “what about my rights?” as their streets get ruined, water resources usurped, and air polluted by giant cruise liners with thousands of tourists arriving every day without spending anything at the local venues and merchants.  

What sort of measurements are taken?

The Ministry of Culture from Peru decided in 2017 that a Machu Picchu permits for accessing the ancient site went down from 1 whole day to a half day. The reason, to regulate the number of travelers entering the site and to help it preserve the authenticity of the national treasure. With growing tourism numbers, such restrictions on travel will become more and more common.It is important to note that such actions to restrict tourism activity lead to a counter reaction of people expressing their rights. Strange, isn’t it? We love to travel, but also don’t care enough to respect the rules set in place to safe it.

We never condone violence as a mean of protecting our rights, but we do understand local people venting their frustration in protest form when this ‘rights’ issue in tourism seems to be a one-way street. And a very overcrowded street at that.  

The rights of the locals are finally being heard because governments are slowly but surely waking up to the fact their voters and tax payers should be listened to – and that that they may actually have a point. In the meantime, we travelers, need to get over the idea that we don’t actually have an inalienable right to travel. That the consumer is not always right.

The UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) refers to the tourists’ right to travel in its Global Code of Ethics for Tourism several times. It defines the right to tourism as ‘a right equally open to all the world’s inhabitants’ and it supports the ‘liberty of tourist movements.’ Tucked away in the Code is also another important line: ‘Tourism policies should be applied in such a way as to help to raise the standard of living of the populations of the regions visited and meet their needs.’ Yet, when local people stand up and shout about their rights in this way, they are often ignored or told to get over it because tourism brings them so many benefits.

In the end. We and many others see travel as a privilege, not a right.  We have the money to travel, while others don’t. Thus, the idea that it’s our right to go wherever we want for the sake of tourism, is just wrong.  We and others are focusing not so much on our rights, but more on doing the right thing by the right means.

The only thing left for us to say is, make sure you start your travels in the right way, by booking a sustainable accommodation at!

Read the whole article of our friends of Responsible Travel at (


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