New documentary explores how travel can build back better
As the world acknowledges two years since the start of the pandemic, the travel industry is seeing strong signs of optimism with borders reopening around the world and travellers starting to pack their bags again. The two-year milestone is also an apt time to reflect on what the pause in mass tourism has taught us, and to reassess how travel can return in a more responsible and conscious way. The Last Tourist is a new documentary that addresses these issues and offers tangible ways people can make necessary changes.
Executive produced by Bruce Poon Tip, the founder of community tourism pioneer and adventure operator, G Adventures, and directed and written by Tyson Sadler, The Last Tourist features leading travel and tourism visionaries including Dr. Jane Goodall (Jane Goodall Institute, United Nations Messenger of Peace), Lek Chailert (Save Elephant Foundation), Gary Knell (National Geographic), Meenu Vadera (Sakha Cabs For Women) and Melissa Matlow (World Animal Protection). The Last Tourist had its world premiere at the Vancouver International Film Festival, and will be released by Elevation Pictures in Canada via digital and on-demand platforms including on Apple TV and Amazon from April 05, 2022, with a supporting theatrical run in select theatres from April 01, 2022.
The documentary – which was awarded with the ‘Special Jury Prize for Social Impact’ by the Canadian Documentary Jury at the Calgary International Film Festival – examines the history of modern tourism and offers a critique on its current state of affairs. It explores important issues including animals suffering for entertainment, orphaned children exploited for profit, and developing economies strained under the massive weight of foreign-owned hotel chains.
The Last Tourist empowers audiences with the knowledge and inspiration to make a positive impact, and fundamentally change the way we travel. During the cinematic journey viewers will meet local heroes who are leveraging tourism to preserve cultural heritage, sustain wildlife, and support the social and economic wellbeing of communities.
Executive producer, Bruce Poon Tip, says his vision for the documentary came well before the pandemic, but the timing of the documentary’s release could not be more relevant as the world’s borders reopen and people look to travel with more purpose and intention.
“We’ve always said travel – community tourism in particular – could be the biggest distributor of wealth the world has ever seen, and even the fastest path to peace which is such an important message right now. We wanted to bring this message, which is illustrated by a series of life-changing stories, to life on the big screen and at the same time expose some of the often well-intentioned but harmful practices many tourism experiences support,” said Poon Tip.
“The Last Tourist demonstrates what a dire state the industry was in pre-pandemic, and recommends tangible ways travellers can use their personal power to have a positive impact as the world reopens to international travel again. I ask that everyone who travels, and cares about the impact they have when they do, watches this important film when it is released on April 05, and spreads the word about how there is a better way to travel,”he said.
Director, Tyson Sadler, says the film took the team on a journey to 16 different countries. “We interviewed dozens of leading travel experts, tour operators and academics, as well as travellers and tourism service providers in host communities that are leveraging travel to improve their quality of life. We amassed nearly 400 hours of footage that was edited into a 90 minute film pulling back the curtain on one of the world’s largest industries to illustrate the true cost of travel on the environment, wildlife, and host communities,” says Sadler.
For more information on The Last Tourist, please visit www.thelasttouristfilm.com