Is it morally OK to visit countries in economic and social turmoil – such as Venezuela? Having spent time there for the BBC and Daily Telegraph, I discussed the subject in this opinion column.
“Tourism is the oil that will not run out,” proclaimed a tweet from Venezuela’s new minister of tourism, Marleny Contreras, following a cabinet reshuffle on June 14. It’s a slogan that she, and her recently re-elected president, Nicolas Maduro, continue to reiterate – banking on Angel Falls, the Caribbean Coast and Los Llanos National Park to lure international tourists back to this debt-stricken country.
Venezuela used to be one of the richest nations in South America, thanks to its massive oil reserves, but two decades of political corruption and civil unrest have turned the country into a social and economic basket case. Car-jackings are common, violent crime is at some of the highest levels on the planet and many of the hotels that soldier on have been looted of their sought-after toilet rolls and light bulbs.
You can read the full column here.
July 23, 2019