Heroic Tourism is the brainchild of Jessie Panazzolo following her research of two Black Lemur populations in the rainforests of Nosy Be island and Nosy Komba Lemur Park, Madagascar.
Compared to the wild lemurs, the tourist exposed lemurs were obese, diabetic, aggressive and had patches of missing fur. Their diet consisted mainly of sugar rich bananas and they constantly came into contact with people wearing insect repellent and suffering various illnesses.
The other side of the story is that 90% of Madagascar’s rainforests had been destroyed by the establishment of agricultural plantations, leaving wildlife tourism ventures such as those involving lemurs as the only reason for protecting the remaining forest. Tourists were coming from far and wide to see Madagascar’s unique forests and the wildlife that lives within them, but at the same time tourism was harming Madagascan flora and fauna.
Jessie believed that ethical tourism practices and informed travellers could:
- Contribute to a global conservation effort carried out by tourists to protect natural environments and wildlife
- Place positive pressure on tourism ventures in order to mainstream ethical practices
- Phase out unethical tourism ventures through reduced demand.
From these ideologies, Heroic Tourism was born.
In 2018 a new hero is born….
Hey! My name is Shannon, I’m eighteen and fresh out of school. I’m constantly overwhelmed with the world of opportunities that lay in front of me. I believe that every experience we are blessed with in our lifetime is an opportunity for self-growth and to make a difference. I have come to acknowledge that the life I have is a privilege and its not to be taken for granted. We all have the potential to make a positive difference in the world, for me it’d be crime not to!
There is a quote that I discovered recently that I think perfectly defines my reason for joining Heroic Tourism. I think it is important to share, because it applies to absolutely anyone and everyone.
“What does the world need that my passions and talents can provide?”- Cam Greenwood, Founder of MONSTASURF
To me, this quote has the power to guide you through a life of adventure, discovery, and passion… if you allow it to. I don’t know about you, but it’s definitely one that I’ve locked into my subconscious.
To me, Heroic Tourism is a solid platform that will allow me to make a difference. I’m passionate about land, marine and wildlife conservation. If I can open peoples’ eyes to the beautiful world around them and help them to connect to it like I do, I believe that they will be more inclined to look after it. It’s a common practice to protect what you love, right?
For now that’s all from me. In future blogs you’ll be able to learn a little bit more about myself and what I’m up to both in and outside of Heroic Tourism. I’m super excited about what’s yet to come and can’t wait to share it with you all. Watch this space!
Lots of love,