Film Review: The Last Tourist

People on an overcrowded beach with a cruise liner in the background

We seem to have reached peak tourism. A confluence of standards of living in developed countries reaching an all-time high and travel being more accessible than ever before. With environmental concerns this pressure may ease, but holiday hotspots are reaching breaking point in terms of numbers. At the same time, those communities which rely on this industry to survive are seeing less and less of the benefits, while the toll increases.

Tour operators and travels companies are funnelling money out of these resorts. Cruises arrive and passengers are shepherded around a set of hospitality venues and sites where the organisers have kick-backs. Then there’s voluntourism, where opportunities are manufactured for rich Westerners to feel good about themselves. Or animal cruelty to meet a neo-colonial dream. All these topics, and many more, are tackled in The Last Tourist.

The Last Tourist is a timely documentary which highlights how the rich are increasingly exploiting, often unknowingly, unwittingly and unintentionally, the poor. Tyson Sadler’s documentary stresses that travel is not inherently bad but visitors need to be aware of the impact they have on local communities and habitats. Ignorance is no longer a viable excuse. As The Last Tourist ably demonstrates, there needs to be a massive culture change in the way we consume our holidays.

The Last Tourist is available on Digital platforms in the US on 15 March.

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