Heroic Tourism

Inspiring global citizens to "Be A Hero" through ethical and responsible tourism.

Jessie Panazzolo

Age 25, Australia

PROJECT: Inspiring global citizens to "Be A Hero" through ethical and responsible tourism.

Tell us about the work you are doing to create a wilder world.
During my travels I constantly saw the same pattern repeating where tourism was harming wildlife and local communities, however at the same time, tourism was the only force protecting  ecosystems for visitor attendance or bringing money into local economies. In 2014, I decided that we as western tourists held all the power and our tourist dollars had the ability to promote the degradation of our natural world, or protect it for years to come. It was then that Heroic Tourism was born and ever since I have been inspiring tourists to “be a hero” and save the world while they travel by making ethical decisions that aid the conservation of global natural environments.

Using this concept I have created education programs where I have presented in schools and tourism ventures across Adelaide and North Sumatra, I have created social media platforms to harness and share up to date information about wildlife and community based tourism across the world, I have used my website to promote ethical ventures and to provide substitutes for unethical ventures and I have hosted three successful fundraisers for conservation programs whereby I have personally contributed to their success across three countries.

Currently, Heroic Tourism is being developed as a community program in Adelaide, Australia and is working with Adelaide based citizens to develop activities and workshops which promote seeing nature in its wildest state rather than paying to view captive animals.

 

What are five of your short term goals to accomplish in the next 1-2 years?
1. Establish Heroic Tourism as a hub for education and nature based activities in Adelaide
2. Grow my social media to 1000 Facebook likes to obtain a higher global reach
3. Train my team of young girls (18 years old) to become leaders, educators and event hosts
4. Use survey data from before and after my community programs to be able to present Heroic Tourism at the Wildlife Tourism Australia conference in Tasmania in October this year
5. Start making a regular income for myself to be able to focus solely on this project

 

How can others help you accomplish these goals?
Professionals in their fields, may they be from the tourism, conservation, government or community sectors, can help me by supporting my activities and education programs by helping to promote my initiative to others they feel would benefit from my work whilst also providing mentoring and guidance. Professionals can provide opportunities for growth, funding and corporation with other initiatives.

The general public can help me by getting involved in my programs, liking my Facebook page for regular news updates, getting educated and staying educated about how their actions impact the world around them. Heroic Tourism works by means of a ripple effect of communication from one person to another. By sharing what you know about ethical tourism to your friends and family, you could be saving a wealth of animals, ecosystems and communities.

My team can help me by working with me to create innovative concepts to work with diverse demographics in order to achieve positive change within our local and broader communities. My team can learn from me as well as teach me in order to work together to become a stronger force than myself alone.

 

How can the public get involved with your project/work?
Heroic Tourism relies on the public getting involved with Heroic Tourism. To become a tourism hero all you need to do is make ethical decisions on your holidays and spread the word. If you supported a local whale watching charter instead of going to a corporate sea park, let the world know! If you went to a national park to see wild elephants instead of riding them at a tourist facility, tell your friends and family, let them know that this is an option! Something as simple as our own actions, conversations with friends and family as well as the content we post on social media makes a huge difference in the way our peers think and act. Heroic Tourism inspires the public to be the change they want to see, there are no fees, no membership and no baggage, it truly has never been easier to be a hero.

 

Any words of advice or wisdom? Anything else you want to tell the world?
You CAN be a hero. You can save the world just by making the right decisions for our planet. You don’t need to be a certain age, race, occupation or gender to save the lives of those around you, it all starts with you. YOU can save the world.

During my travels I constantly saw the same pattern repeating where tourism was harming wildlife and local communities, however at the same time, tourism was the only force protecting ecosystems for visitor attendance or bringing money into local economies.

Professionals can provide opportunities for growth, funding and corporation with other initiatives.

To become a tourism hero all you need to do is make ethical decisions on your holidays and spread the word.

It was challenging to have a concept which it's importance was universally agreed upon, however nobody was willing or able to assist me in my plight.