Fire Souls United: Reflections on the Summit by Arnie Weissman

21 November 2013

Editor's Note: This article was written by Arnie Weissmann, Editor in Chief of Travel Weekly, who attended the recent 2013 Adventure Travel World Summit. You can read the original article here: Fire Souls United.


Swakopmund, NAMIBIA - She's 29 years old, working for a well-known adventure tour operator. Her job description would put her above entry level but well shy of management.

She chose to work for an adventure operator not only because she loves the outdoors, but because she feels the category aligns with her concerns about conservation.

But last week, bumping down an unpaved road in a Toyota Land Cruiser, headed toward Sossusvlei dunes in Namibia's Namib-Naukluft National Park, she said, "I sometimes think our industry does a lot of harm. To the environment, to cultures. I don't always feel good about what we do."

She voiced what many, inside and outside the industry, have also thought. For the most part, those who stay in the industry conclude that the benefits of organized travel outweigh its shortcomings and push forward, with enlightened self-interest, taking care not to abuse the landscapes and cultures that provide their livelihood.

She, however, has yet to overcome misgivings...

To read the rest of the article, please go to Fire Souls United.