The Trouble with Tourism in Southeast Asia – The Diplomat

By on July 11, 2019

In 2004, journalists Stuart McDonald and Samantha Brown established Travelfish, an independent online guide for travelers in Southeast Asia that has earned a reputation for not pulling its punches in an industry too often dominated by slick advertising and hype.

From its inception, Travelfish has operated on a “no freebies” policy, snubbing free rides in return for positive reviews, and always paying its own way. Its focus on travel ranges from digital nomads and backpackers to family-friendly tourist spots and up-market destinations for the rich.

McDonald, originally from Australia, spoke with The Diplomat’s Luke Hunt in Denpasar about politics, economics and tourism with a social conscience, in a region fraught with dictators, juntas and insurgencies, and traders desperate for foreign dollars. He also gave away his top three exotic destinations on roads rarely travelled in Southeast Asia.

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 Luke Hunt can be followed on twitter @lukeanthonyhunt

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