I promise not to step up on a soapbox here, but, if you're a traveler or travel professional, I've been wondering how you handle traveling to places that have political or policy environments that go against your conscience. Brutal political regimes where human rights are a rare commodity are perhaps the most obvious examples, but what about states, provinces, etc. in your own country that have enacted laws or policies that go against your values.

For example, I suspect many of you who are reading this are proponents of wildlife conservation, as I am. Idaho, the state next to mine, has many great things going for it and there are many reasons to travel there. But they have legalized wolf hunting and entire packs are being gunned down from helicopters in the name of sport. We see the same brutal wolf killing practices in Alaska. Until those policies change, I won't travel to either state -- I simply don't want to support their economies with my travel dollars.

I'm curious how Tripatini users view travel to places with laws or policies you find personally unconscionable. Do you put your values aside and go anyway? Or do you choose another destination? Please share your perspectives on this question.

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Comment by Max Pesling on December 10, 2009 at 12:47pm
Good topic, Allen. Withholding your travel dollars from destinations like Idaho are a valid way of not supporting the brutal and unnecessary killing of wolves; but by not going, and all people of good conscience not going, we let Idaho become a place full of hunters and their ilk, which will make it even less likelier that they will change. I think the value of going to such places is to offer another perspective: wear your sierra club t-shirt. talk to people while you're there. attend animal rights rallies, if they exist there. if we animal-loving people stop going, won't the locals get all inbred with their own kind and never hear any other perspectives? just food for thought....
Comment by David Paul Appell on December 10, 2009 at 12:38pm
This is definitely a slippery slope, and sometimes things aren't black-and-white. We've had a couple of interchanges about this in Media Only, and I'd love to get a discussion going in the Politics of Travel group, too. Stay tuned...!

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