« Each year there are around 880 million international passenger arrivals. » (John Urry, Jonas Larsen, The Tourist Gaze 3.0). In a globalized world mobility has increased, which causes many problems: environmental issues, economic inequalities and it increases the risk of spreading diseases.
Should we put red lights in the sky? Is the sky the limit?
Is this mobility going to grow in the future? Does it affect everyone? These are the questions we asked ourselves.
After a short poll in our class, we discovered that everyone has already been abroad more than once. Click on the pie-chart we made to illustrate this (51 countries)
We found out that 25 persons out of 27 had travelled to the UK or to Spain. It is a striking result! Of course, in our class, we are curious and lucky to discover the world, eager to learn about other cultures. Mobility for us is a choice and since we were kids, we have been used to travelling around the world.
The other side of the coin is the kind of forced mobility that is also increasing: forced migrations.
Some people say that mobile society, meaning tourism, is about to end, however for others it has never begun. Indeed, in certain countries, crossing the frontiers is harder or even impossible. Furthermore, following the increase in inequalities in the world, more and more migrants risk their lives to have a better future.
Boat people don’t choose the beach they lie on
Nervertheless, even if some people consider that mobility has rather negative aspects, for others it is a way of saving their lives.
However, mobility is not only a human problem, it also impacts the environment.
The use of oil results in the depletion of the ozone layer and it contributes to global warming. Tourism is costly in oil, so we need to find a substitute which would be renewable, sustainable and not derived from petroleum. Besides, those resources are exhaustible and scientists predict that they will disappear within about 50 years.
If mobility was to end like the Titanic, what would our lifeboats be?