I sat in spellbound reverence, fixed to my rickety wooden chair in a Peruvian Amazon rain forest village. A local shaman welcomed our small group from the riverboat Zephyr to teach us about medicinal plants from the jungle. Then, blowing tobacco smoke from his cupped hands, he framed my body with a smoke shield as he blew it around my face and over my shoulders, all the while chanting his blessing from the forest.
Whether receiving a shamanic ceremonial prayer while learning about jungle ethnobotany, paddling a traditional outrigger canoe as you sing Hawai‘ian chants, or exploring Aboriginal art based upon ancient Australian stories, these are all encompassed in indigenous travel.
Sometimes referred to as ethnic or tribal tourism, it proves one of the fastest-growing sectors of tourism today, with travelers seeking to see the world through the eyes of indigenous peoples. It allows them to experience the human aspect through a different lens, that of native peoples who populated the land many years before Western exploration. It’s largely about forgotten cultures, customs, languages and people whose story has not been told in mainstream history books.
Indigenous peoples worldwide make up about 6 percent of the global population, according to World Bank. That’s about 476 million people. However, they represent almost 19 percent of the extreme poor, arguably some of the world’s most impoverished peoples. Some of them include the Yagua and Bora of the Peruvian Amazon, Embera of Panamá, Aborigines of Australia, First Nations of Canada and Native Americans of the United States.
Indigenous travel matters because it offers a way for many forgotten peoples to generate income and share and preserve their culture while fostering greater awareness of indigenous peoples. Whether understanding their history and traditions through tours; education about native foods; or experiencing some of their arts, music and dance, the collective sharing explores their ancestral ties to the lands and natural resources where they live or used to live. It’s also about authenticity, education, sustainable development and respecting sacred spaces.
Alana McGrattan, a world traveler, former teacher-librarian at Indian School in Santa Fe and a board representative for Sisters Cities in Albuquerque, New Mexico, sees it this way: “When one chooses travel experiences guided through an indigenous lens, the interactions richly provide opportunities for sharing their indigenous gifts and profound connection with the land. Everyone benefits.”
Mazatlán, Mexico, has long been an attractive home destination for Canadian and American retirees, but, in recent years, young, digital nomads have also discovered the charms of this coastal city, finding inexpensive accommodations, beautiful weather and plenty of bandwidth for working remotely. The laid-back beach scene definitely eases the transition of relocating to Mexico’s West Coast.
Filled with hidden treasures waiting to be discovered, Seoul invites travelers to unearth its many gems, and Seoul Tourism Organization is here to help travelers do just that. Through thoughtfully created initiatives like the Theme Tourism County Competition, Seoul Tourism Organization works closely with local districts to identify and showcase what makes each district unique and charming in all seasons.
Global Traveler Announces the Winners of the 2023 Outstanding Diversity & Inclusion in Travel Awards
For its third year, Global Traveler awards the airline, cruise line and hotel brand best representing diversity, equity and inclusion within the travel industry. Over the past year Global Traveler analyzed many airlines, cruise lines and hotel brands to determine which companies prove most committed to changing the world through diversity and inclusion.
The highly anticipated GT Tested Reader Survey has more reason to celebrate in 2024 than ever before. This year marks the 20th anniversary of our GT Tested Reader Survey awards, with many of the winning brands earning milestone accolades for years of dedicated and consistent service.
One affordable plan can protect an entire year of trips: business or pleasure, short or long, domestic or international.
As another phenomenal year of travel comes to an end, it’s time, as always, for Global Traveler to celebrate and award those who do it best as we announce the 2023 winners of the GT Tested Reader Survey awards. But that's not the only cause for celebration here: We've hit another major milestone, as this marks our 20th year honoring the best of the best inn world of travel!
Next summer, Denver, Colorado, becomes home to the country’s first carbon-positive hotel. The 13-story Populus features 265 modern guestrooms, a ground-floor restaurant, café, flexible meeting spaces, and signature rooftop restaurant and bar. Architecture is designed by Studio Gang, with interiors envisioned by Wildman Chalmers Design.
Embracing a life well lived often means embracing a life well-traveled. Every journey becomes a canvas for experiences that shape our lives and at the heart of every adventure lies the indispensable companion: quality luggage.
Private jet charter service Jettly recently conducted an extensive study to find the most and least reliable U.S. airports in 2023. Analyzing the total number of delays, cancellations and diversions from more than 390 U.S. airports provided by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, the results saw the least reliable airports span all corners of the country.