9 Invisible Cities: can we still see them?

positive travel impact

Rome is packed with cultural and historical sights. It became extremely popular following the publication of Don Brown’s Angels and Demons disclosing some of its “invisible” sights. Fortunately, the city is full of hidden treasure so ditch the map and let your senses guide you.

positive impact travel

Rio De Janeiro It is set in a breathtaking natural environment. From above it looks like a patchwork of settlement, each one of them with a unique identity.This is also the city that makes travelers acutely aware of human inequality and they travel impact, albeit not always positive .So much so, that curious and well-meaning visitors have turned parts of the city into living museums. Be considerate and respectful towards the locals and take a local guide if you decide to embark on a tour of the favelas.

positive impact travel

Singapore is an old trading settlement and harbor, it dates back to the 14th Century. And believe it or not it was the opium trade in the 19th Century that put it on the map as a strategic trading port.In the mid-twenties century, it embarked on a rapid modernization which nearly wiped out its cultural heritage. More recently the government decided to transform it into a sustainable sanctuary and a green city. This is also one of only two cities in the world with primary rainforest located within its limits. Going green in Singapore is easy.

New York is a multidimensional city that can be explored from many different angles and levels. It received a staggering 63mn visitors in 2017, 8 time more than the number of its inhabitants. And again, no talk of over-tourism here, definitely a point worth investigating.This is a city of entrepreneurs and we would not be surprised if it becomes one of the major hubs of responsible travel. The place is fascinated with the idea of shared economies, from sharing solar energy with neighbors, to sharing your flat, car and just about any other asset you may have. Watch this space!

positive travel impact

London is a city that expands through time and in space. What makes this city great for mindful and conscious travel is its elaborate, albeit not always punctual, public transport network. There is a great choice of green and eco-friendly accommodation, it is a paradise for foodies, vegetarians and vegans, art and culture lovers.

Dubai has risen out of the desert like a mirage. If you are a mindful and conscious traveler you would probably keep away from this place like the plague.And yet, its government has recently understood the value of “sustainable tourism”. The nearby desert and underwater world offer spectacular natural sights and there is an increasing number of eco-camps sprouting in the sands.

positive travel impact

Barcelona is a child’s dream. It hosts a magical and fantasy world as depicted in fairy tales and stories.It is enough to visit Sagrada falimia, Parque Giel and some of the other of Gaudi’s masterpieces. And it has so much more to offer. The local authorities take take bold steps to tackle over-tourism, they have even come up with the term “temporary citizens” to integrate them better into the daily life of the city.

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Venice embodies the very spirit of Invisible Cities. It does not reveal itself to the “been there, done that” visitors. Only the patience ones can feel its charm and magic.The local authorities are installing turnstiles and charging an entry fee to manage the impact on the local community and the effects of over-tourism.

positive travel impact

Paris experienced a sharp drop in visitors following several terrorist attacks. However, it’s tourist office was so successful to promote its “charm” by increasing its social media budget from 100’000 to 2mn, that they estimate to have as many as 100mn visitors in 2020. This case illustrates how fragile travelers trust and confidence is when it comes to safety and how over-powering social media can be when it comes to creating a positive or negative image of a place

Credits: Many thanks to all the photographers that captured the invisible side of these cities. @mycameraandbackpack @vaness_around @lopetzz @maurizio.rossi.5815 @adrian_thecanadian @sixstreetunder @fabiomluz

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