This story is part of The Road Ahead, a series that examines the future of travel and how we’ll experience the world after the pandemic.
For the past several decades, the world has felt increasingly accessible. In the 1990s, led by RyanAir and EasyJet, low-cost airlines began turning second-tier airports into jumping-off points for cheap global explorations. The 2000s ushered in the points-and-miles credit card era, transforming workaday road warriors into world-savvy jetsetters. In 2008, Airbnb launched, making it possible for travelers to “belong anywhere” while sleeping affordably in the homes of locals. And then Instagram arrived, followed by selfie stick-wielding influencers who obsessively mapped the globe’s most beautiful coves, peaks, villages, and beaches, inviting others to follow.
By December 2019, if you had time and disposable income, the world’s hidden corners were more or less available to you, for better and worse. Travelers can bring money and fresh energy to a destination, but they can also love it to death, as places like Venice and Machu Picchu know all too well.
+INFO: Fast Company