Wednesday, December 2, 2020
News, analysis and commentary by UBC Journalism students


Resorting to convenience

Would you pay $11,000 a week to sleep in a tent? What if it was environmentally friendly? what? still no?…

By Ian Bickis , in Blogs This Business of the Environment , on February 12, 2008

Would you pay $11,000 a week to sleep in a tent? What if it was environmentally friendly? what? still no?

Either you’re not ridiculously wealthy, or you just don’t care about the environment. Either way, places like the Clayoquot Wilderness Resort will probably remain a novelty, despite the growth of eco-tourism.

More common are places like the proposed Coquihalla Pass Resort, which is being criticized for the damage a full golf course and resort will do to the already threatened Coldwater River. As much as people are leaning more green these days, they still want convenience above all else while on vacation.

Why canoe into a beautiful lake when you can be flown in? Why trek up a mountain when a gondola can take you up? Why leave the room to drink when you can have have unlimited booze in the bathroom? People on vacation generally want things done as easily as possible, because, hey, they’re on vacation dammit.

There are disputes all over the place between convenient tourism and environmental groups.

There is currently a fight going on for snowmobile access to Yellowstone National Park. Environmentalists contend the machines disturb the wildlife and pollute the air, the snowmobilers say it’s fun.

The cruise ship industry continues to grow as people realize that exploring different cultures is overrated. But somehow, having the city move with you rather than flying to one is pretty polluting.

Mountains are harder to move than cities, so Dubai built one instead. In the desert. And then they added a roof and some snow. No word on the energy required to power this monstrosity, but needless to say it’s a lot.

Tourism is one of the biggest growth industries, as people become more mobile and have more disposable income. Hopefully the Clayoquot Resort becomes a model for the industry, at least in principle, before Whistler builds a 40C indoor desert play land.