world childrens day

Travel industry encouraged to help protect children this World Children’s Day

Ahead of World Children's Day, a panel of travel experts discussed the important topic of children and travel; highlighting the role the industry can play in helping protect local children at travel destinations, and discussing the trend of the younger generation growing more conscious when travelling.

As part of G Adventures' 'Retravel Live' series, G Adventures' founder Bruce Poon Tip was joined by family travel specialists Heather Greenwood-Davis (contributing editor, National Geographic) and Maria Pieri (editorial director, National Geographic Traveller UK), and Sébastien Marot (executive director, the ChildSafe Movement) to discuss the impact of worldwide travel on children.

Sébastien Marot's ChildSafe Movement partnered with G Adventures in 2018 to launch its Child Welfare Guidelines in, giving an opportunity for agents to educate themselves and their travellers on ChildSafe's 7 Tips for Travellers which include not giving to begging children or treating children like tourist attractions.

“More than anything, travellers need advice on appropriate ways to help and information on who to contact to react to children in danger,” says Marot.

As well as discussing how agents and travellers can be more aware of how travel can improve the lives of local children, the panel discussed how travel should be a transformative experience for travelling children and what the future of travel might look for the more conscious young travellers. 

“It will be slower. It will be more considered. It will be more sustainable and hopefully more experience-based,” said Maria Pieri.

Heather Greenwood-Davis stressed the importance of preparation and education, saying agents have a responsibility to make sure people are prepared for what they encounter and to maybe thwart that well-intentioned gift buying.

“Whether it’s Gen Z, or whatever comes after Gen Z, I think they already have a global mindset. These are kids who have heroes in Greta Thunberg and the Malalas of the world. They are already thinking about those big issues and that is going to impact where their parents take them on vacation,” added Heather Greenwood-Davis

“I really hope that mass tourism is a thing of the past. It has to be reinvented. In a few years, the norm of travel will be responsible travel…responsible for the people, responsible for the environment and responsible for the culture itself that we visit,” concluded Sébastien Marot.

The event can be watched back here.

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