Will Covid mark the start of a new kind of tourism?

Anastasia Miari
7 min readJul 10, 2020

All hail the generation of the conscious, bamboo straw-toting traveller

This week, aeroplanes began to land at Corfu airport, in Greece. After months of not a single plane in the sky flying above the turquoise waters of the Ionian, where I have been based, spotting a plane now is cause for comment. “Oh, a plane!” we exclaim.

No-one thought global travel could ever come to a standstill in such a dramatic way but once it had, we got used to our plane-less skies.

On the island, residents didn’t migrate to the beaches to prepare for a summer season in concrete blocks of all-inclusive hotels. Instead, they took to nature. They hiked into olive groves. They breathed in the fresh air of the mountains. Even now, anticipating a quiet summer season, they tend to their vegetable plots, preparing for an economically tough winter by growing their own sustenance.

Similarly, those in other parts of the world, the Brits, the Germans, the Americans, the visitors Greece might usually see, have forcefully learned to appreciate what’s on their own turf and just beyond their windows.

Even if we do travel this year, we have to be conscious of where we choose to go, how we travel and even our own behaviour once we get there. In Corfu this week, I have seen more campervans than I have in a lifetime of summers here. The indication is that people are really thinking about how they’re going to explore the world this summer (if at all).

Whether we like it or not, travel is becoming more conscious, catalysing the slow travel movement that was beginning to ferment and brew amongst the environmentally and socially ‘woke’.

Hiking in Corfu, image Anastasia Miari

Perhaps thanks in no small part to the likes of teenage climate change activist Greta Thunberg, Sir David Attenborough and Hollywood celebrities including Jane Fonda and Leonardo DiCaprio drawing attention to an impending climate emergency even before Covid struck, it appears that consumers were already beginning to make increasingly conscious choices when heading out on vacation. These consumers are likely to be the younger ones…

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Anastasia Miari

Freelance journalist writing about travel, the environment, food and life for The Guardian, The Independent, The New York Times and The Telegraph.