How to fix travel | Doug Lansky | TEDxStockholm

Travel has improved over the years in some ways, but it has come off the rails in others. It’s great that a journey from Europe to the U.S. takes eight hours instead of several weeks in the hull of a rat-infested sailboat boat, but tourism is also homogenizing the planet’s cultures and growing unsustainably. How can Stockholm, for example, find room for twice as many tourists in the summer in popular areas where it’s already so crowded visitors can barely move down the street? And with the packaged, tight itineraries that bring visitors from one attractions to the next, how are visitors supposed to make natural contact with locals? Doug Lansky, travel writer, tourism industry advisor, and author of the thought-provoking new visual book TRAVEL: The Guide, takes us on a journey to find the Holy Grail of tourism: sustainable, profitable, and authentic travel. Find more on Doug here:

Doug Lansky is an American travel writer based in Sweden who has written books for Lonely Planet, Rough Guides and contributed to Esquire, Men’s Journal,The Guardian, National Geographic Adventure, Readers Digest and many others. He also wrote a nationally syndicated travel column in over 40 newspapers, hosted a Travel Channel show and served as travel editor for Scandinavian Airlines inflight magazine.

On the speaking circuit, Doug has given acclaimed lectures at nearly 100 universities, spoken to a sold-out audience at corporate events and at both public and industry travel/tourism conferences.

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at


Comments 4

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  1. Thank you Doug Lansky! Yes to all of this – why I often fail to enjoy travel explained brilliantly. Excellent tip to Google local newspapers and use Google Translate to understand. Will definitely use that for our upcoming Malaga / Spain trip.

    Speaking as a local more than a traveller, I would like to add: less is more. I would prefer to travel less, but of higher quality/intensity. This could mean spending more money, but does not need to mean that. It could also mean, spending more time in defining and finding out exactly what a high quality trip to each traveller in his/her own way. That could be a consulting service, enjoying bits of the trip before actually going in joint preparation. Preparation of fun things makes (just as) happy as the fun things themselves.

    A side effect/outcoming of such prep convos, could be to find elements of the ideal trip nearby, or craft your home (town) to provide them. Improving day to day living that way.

  2. Good points Doug.  DMAI's Destination Next Initiative is helping DMOS understand about challenges in the future and how we should look at creating stronger bonds with community, economic development , government officials and overall destination infrastructure decision makers.  We need to leverage our tourism expertise to help impact how cities are being developed, renovated and enhanced.  The quality of the travel experience will serve to improve the quality of life for all the citizens in each destination.  DMO executives are working hard to be at the table with every decision maker in their communities to affect change.  Thanks for the thought provoking ideas Doug

  3. Interesting. I think another issue that needs to be addressed is how wealthy countries and poor countries address issues that tourist care about. Less of a DMO issue and more of a government wide issue. I also think the tourist themselves can do a bit more research. With the explosion of blogs and Tripadvisor, tourism information is more up to the minute than ever. Off peak travel is definitely a force that many travelers should embrace. Flexibility is the key on both sides. 

How to fix travel | Doug Lansky | TEDxStockholm

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