Imperiled Attractions Draw Tours of Doom


瀕臨危險景點吸引末日觀光客


The Antarctic, which many adventure travelers think is threatened by global warming.

By ALLEN SALKIN
Published: December 16, 2007


PACK YOUR BAGS Mount Kilimanjaro’s glaciers are melting, incentive to some travelers to book a trip there sooner than later.

QUITO, Ecuador – Dennis and Stacie Woods, a married couple from Seattle, choose their vacation destinations based on what they fear is fated to destruction.
來自西雅圖的夫婦丹尼斯和史黛西‧伍茲專挑他們擔心注定要毀滅的地點度假。


This month it was a camping and kayaking trip around the Galápagos Islands. Last year, it was a stay at a remote lodge in the Amazon, and before that, an ascent of Mount Kilimanjaro.
這個月是在加拉巴哥群島一帶露營和划愛斯基摩划子。去年是去住亞馬遜河流域一間偏遠的小木屋,在那之前是登上吉力馬札羅山。


“We wanted to see the islands this year,” Mr. Woods, a lawyer, said recently in a hotel lobby here, “because we figured they’re only going to get worse.”
擔任律師的伍茲最近在厄瓜多爾基多市一間旅館的大廳說:「今年我們想看這個群島,因為我們認為這些島的狀況只會惡化。」


The visit to the Amazon was “to try to see it in its natural state before it was turned into a cattle ranch or logged or burned to the ground,” Mr. Woods said. Kilimanjaro was about seeing the sunrise on the highest peak in Africa before the ice cap melts, as some forecasters say it will within the next dozen years.
伍茲說,遊覽亞馬遜河是「想在當地變成養牛場或被濫伐,或被燒得精光之前,欣賞它的自然風貌」。登吉力馬札羅山是要在冰帽融化前在非洲最高峰的山頂看日出,部分預言家說冰帽會在未來幾十年內融化。


Next on their list: the Arctic before the ice is gone.
他們旅遊單上的下一站:冰融前的北極。


The Woodses are part of a travel trend that Ken Shapiro, the editor in chief of TravelAge West, a magazine for travel agents, calls “the Tourism of Doom.”
伍茲夫婦趕上的這種旅遊趨勢,旅行社產業雜誌「西方旅遊年代」總編輯肯恩‧夏皮洛稱之為「末日觀光」。


“It’s not just about going to an exotic place,” Mr. Shapiro said. “It’s about going someplace they expect will be gone in a generation.”
夏皮洛說:「這不只是去個富有異國風味的地方,而是去一個他們預期會在一個世代內消失的地方。」


From the tropics to the ice fields, doom is big business. Quark Expeditions, a leader in arctic travel, doubled capacity for its 2008 season of trips to the northern and southernmost reaches of the planet. Travel agents report clients are increasingly requesting trips to see the melting glaciers of Patagonia, the threatened coral of the Great Barrier Reef, and the eroding atolls of the Maldives, Mr. Shapiro said.
從熱帶到冰原,末日觀光是大商機。極地旅遊業龍頭「夸克探險」公司,已把2008年前往地球最北和最南端旅遊季的接客量加倍。夏皮洛說,旅行社報告說,愈來愈多顧客要求去看巴塔哥尼亞正在融化的冰河、大堡礁受到威脅的珊瑚,以及馬爾地夫被侵蝕的環礁。


This is all a ruse, said John Stetson, a spokesman for the Will Steger Foundation, an environmental education organization in Minnesota. “Eco-tourism is more of a term for the marketer,” he said.
明尼蘇達州的環境教育組織「威爾史丹格」基金會發言人約翰‧史代特森說,這全是促銷策略,他說:「生態旅遊是促銷業者喊出來的名詞。」


“Many people want to do what’s right, so when something is marketed as the right thing, they tend to do that,” he said.
他說:「許多人想要做對的事,因此如果把某件事包裝成對的事去促銷,這些人就樂得去做。」


But, he says, traveling by jet to see the icebergs contributes to global warming, which makes the icebergs melt faster. “It’s hard to fault somebody who wants to see something before it disappears, but it’s unfortunate that in their pursuit of doing that, they contribute to the problem,” he said.
不過,他說,搭噴射機去看冰山,會助長全球暖化,使冰山更快融化。他說:「某人想在某樣東西消失前去看一眼,也難怪他,但很不幸,他們這麼做的過程卻使問題惡化了。」


Even the sinking of the Antarctic cruise ship Explorer, which hit an iceberg in November, has not cooled interest. Other Antarctic tour operators say they have received frantic calls asking for last-minute berths from those who had been scheduled to take future Explorer voyages. Since most trips are already full, would-be paying customers are being turned away.
連南極郵輪「探險號」11月撞上一座冰山後沉沒,都沒有使這股熱潮冷卻下來。其他南極旅遊業者說,他們接到原本預定參加「探險號」未來遊程的旅客焦急的電話,要求在最後一刻訂艙位。由於大部分遊程都已客滿,只好拒絕這些想要付錢的顧客。


What these travelers are chasing may be a modern-day version of an old human impulse – to behold an untrammeled frontier. Except this time around, instead of being the first to climb a mountain or behold a glacier-fed lake, voyagers like the Woodses are eager to be the ones to see things last.
這些旅人追尋的,也許是人類想要一覽無拘無束疆域的古老衝動的現代版本。只不過這一次剛好相反,不是成為第一個登上一座山或看到冰河流入湖泊的人,而是像伍茲夫婦這樣的旅人,渴望成為最後一個看到的人。


Almost all these trips are marketed as environmentally aware and eco-sensitive – they are, after all, a grand tour of the devastating effects of global warming. But the travel industry, some environmentalists say, is preying on the frenzy. This kind of travel, they argue, is hardly green. It’s greedy, requiring airplanes and boats as well as new hotels.
幾乎所有這些遊程都打著注重環保和生態的名義促銷,畢竟這些遊程是遊覽全球暖化毀滅性影響的「壯遊」。但一些環保人士說,旅遊業利用這股熱潮賺取暴利,他們認為,這樣的旅遊幾乎不可能環保。這是貪心的行為,需要飛機和船隻,還有新的旅館。


However well intentioned, these trip takers may hasten the destruction of the very places they are trying to see.
無論立意有多麼良善,這些遊客可能加速毀滅他們想要觀光的地方。


But the environmental debate is hardly settled. What is clear is that appealing to the human ego remains a terrific sales tool for almost any product.
不過這場環保論戰難有定論。可以確定的是,迎合人類自我中心的虛榮感,仍舊是促銷商品的絕佳手法,幾乎無往不利。


“Doom tourism has been with us for a long time indeed,” Jonathan Raban, the travel writer, said by phone from Seattle, his home. “It’s about the world being spoiled and the impulse of the tourist industry to sell us on getting there before it is too late, before other people spoil it.
旅遊作家強納森‧拉班在西雅圖家中接受電話訪問說:「末日旅遊業確實已存在很長時間。賣點是世界正遭受破壞,旅遊業向我們推銷在別人糟蹋前捷足先登的欲望衝動,以免為時已晚。」


“I’m thinking of the opening up of the West by the railroads aided by unforgivable painters like Albert Bierstadt, who sold that idyllic version of the pristine West populated only by deer and their fauns and picturesque Indians. There was a rush from the East to get there one step before the miners, who were going to spoil it, and before other tourists started trampling it.”
「我聯想到以鐵路開拓美國西部,就是受到像亞伯特‧比奧斯塔這樣不可原諒的畫家的推波助瀾,他賣的是描繪西部原始景色的風景畫,那裡只有鹿和牠們的牧神,還有栩栩如生的印地安人。東部人一窩蜂搶著比礦工早一步到那裡,反正礦工遲早會破壞環境,更要搶在其他觀光客開始踐踏前到達。」


Back then, the images were of geysers and antelope-dotted Rocky Mountain sunsets. Now the worried traveler, motivated by promotional Web sites showing images of smiling natives in face paint and flocks of colorful exotic birds, hastens to the vulnerable Amazon. Not that this tourist will be living without comfort: bamboo-floored lodges await, where hot showers come courtesy of solar power and toucans can be viewed from laddered observation towers.
回想當年的景象是間歇噴泉以及羚羊點綴其間的落磯山夕照。如今憂心忡忡的旅人趕往易遭破壞的亞馬遜流域,吸引他們的是宣傳網站上臉部彩繪、帶著微笑的原住民,以及一群群五顏六色的珍禽異鳥照片。這並不表示觀光客的生活會不舒適:鋪了竹地板的小屋等候大駕光臨,屋裡有太陽能發電的熱水澡,並可以從備有梯子的觀測塔上欣賞巨嘴鳥。


At hundreds of dollars or more a night, people do want hot water and other comforts.
每晚房價要好幾百美元甚至更高,房客的確想要熱水和其他享受。


In November, Travel & Leisure magazine came out with a “responsible travel” issue and listed on its cover “13 guilt-free travel deals,” No. 5 being an Inkaterra Rain Forest package. For $497 a person, it included a three-night stay in a cabana on stilts, an excursion to the hotel’s private ecological reserve, a boat trip to a native farm and a 30-minute massage at the hotel spa.
《旅遊與休閒》雜誌11月推出「責任旅遊」特刊,在封面列出「13 種沒有罪惡感的旅遊方式」,第5名是Inkaterra飯店雨林套裝遊程。每人收費497美元,包含在高架的小屋住三晚,遊覽飯店的私人生態保留地,搭船遊原住民農莊,以及在飯店的水療室享受30分鐘按摩。


A “Green Serengeti package” in Tanzania started at $836 a night per person, with all drinks “excluding Champagne.”
坦尚尼亞的「綠色塞倫蓋提套裝遊程」以每人每晚836美元起跳,飲料無限暢飲,「香檳除外」。


In a way, these earnest expeditions say much about how the very idea of adventure has changed. Once naturalists like Darwin made sense of a wild world. Explorers like Lewis and Clark sought to map what seemed limitless wilderness. Adventurers like Livingstone and Scott sought to conquer the earth’s natural challenges and sometimes died trying.
在某方面,這些真切熱烈的遊山玩水,揭露出冒險的意圖已經有何改變。過去像達爾文這樣的自然主義者是去認識了解野生世界。路易斯和克拉克之類的探險家想要為看似無垠的荒野繪製地圖。像李文斯頓和史考特這樣的冒險家試圖征服地球上的大自然挑戰,有時奮不顧身。


Over the last half-century, backpackers and other adventurers took a gentler route, beating new paths across Asia, South America and other locales – only to realize years later that some paths had been clear-cut into highways fit for Holiday Inns. There are popular ice cream stores in Katmandu, and a strip of five-star hotels in Goa, India.
過去半世紀,背包客和其他冒險家採取較溫和的路線,在亞洲、南美洲和其他地方另闢蹊徑,幾年後才發現一些小路已被闢建成適合假日飯店進駐的交通要道。加德滿都有多家冰淇淋店,印度的果亞有一條五星級飯店林立的大街。


“From where I sit,” said Nancy Novogrod, the editor of Travel & Leisure, “traveling to Mongolia now is almost cliché. Last summer, it seemed like everybody was going to Mongolia. The bar keeps getting higher.”
《旅遊與休閒》雜誌編輯南茜‧諾沃葛拉德說:「從我所在的地方去蒙古旅行,如今已是老生常談。今年夏天時,好像人人都要去蒙古。探險旅行的門檻愈來愈高。」


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