Overbooked by Elizabeth Becker

Tourist Trap: The Risks and Rewards of the Global Travel Industry

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A man plays an accordion in front of the “lovelocks” left by tourists on the Pont des Artes, Paris, Sept. 6, 2013 (photo by Flickr user Ben Francis, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic).

Tourism and travel are usually seen as what people do when taking time off from real life. An industry built on beach resorts and ski chalets, bus tours of the Eiffel Tower and African safaris doesn’t seem to rise to the same level of concern as burst oil pipelines or illegal logging in the Amazon.

Yet considered as an industry, global travel and tourism is the world’s largest employer; would rank as the fifth-largest carbon emitter if it were a country; is second only to energy as the favored strategy for developing nations trying to rise out of poverty; is credited with saving Europe from a deeper recession after the global financial crisis; is blamed for ills ranging from the environmental destruction of coral reefs, fragile coastal habitats and old-growth forests to the spreading of child prostitution and the upending of local cultures; and represents 9.5 percent of global GDP…READ MORE


Testifying at Khmer Rouge Genocide Trial – February 2015

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BY GEORGE WRIGHT | FEBRUARY 10, 2015
U.S. journalist Elizabeth Becker on Monday recounted dramatic stories at the Khmer Rouge tribunal of meeting Pol Pot in 1978 on a trip to Cambodia and later being awoken by gunshots as an academic in her traveling party was murdered.

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About Elizabeth Becker

Elizabeth Becker, is the award winning journalist and author of “OVERBOOKED,The Exploding Business of Travel and Tourism” and the classic “WHEN THE WAR WAS OVER, a history of the Khmer Rouge and modern Cambodia.” She has reported on international and national affairs as a correspondent at the New York Times and the Washington Post and was the senior foreign editor of National Public Radio.

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"Becker writes history as history should be written"—The Financial Times