Positive Impacts of Tourism

Travel Broadens the Mind.

Destyni and Ana at Eiffel Tower
Destyni and Ana at the Eiffel Tower

Can tourism bring down walls? In short, can travel broaden the mind?

Student Travel – Positive Impacts of Tourism

“Yes. Tourism is the best sustainable way to bring down those walls, and to create a sustainable way of connecting with each other and creating friendships.” These are the words of Aziz Abu Sarah, founder of MEDJI Tours based in Jerusalem. Sarah arranges tours of the city led by two guides, one Jewish and one Palestinian. The aim is to connect visitors with locals to understand their day-to-day realities in order to promote understanding, friendship and peace. This concept of echoing the positive impacts of tourism was declared by Mark Twain over 180 years ago when he famously wrote, “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.”

Benefits of Student Travel

Since 2008, Context Travel and Sacramento Charter High School in Sacramento, California, have sponsored a yearly scholarship for one or two high-achieving students; it is designed to give youth from economically challenged, inner-city neighborhoods the opportunity to travel, and to broaden their horizons through a student travel initiative. It is perhaps more important now than ever to promote travel to the next generation and instill a spirit of open-mindedness.

With this in mind, our winners Destyni and Ana experienced the trip of a lifetime in Paris. It was both of their first time to Europe (and Ana’s very first time on an airplane!), where they followed a series of walking tours led by our scholars and docents. From learning about the Roman history of Paris to studying Modernist Architecture, the girls saw, first-hand, the evolution of the city and Parisian culture. During their stay, both students reflected on their time by writing blog posts and the positive impacts of tourism, specifically student travel, are clearly evident as you read about their journey.

20 March – Big Day Approaches

For the past few months, I have known that I am the co-winner of the Transforming Youth through Travel scholarship sponsored by Context Travel, and now that the trip draws closer to the big day of my departure for Paris, I grow anxious in the best possible way. The plane ride across the Atlantic will…

Destyni and Ana - At the Louvre
Destyni and Ana – At the Louvre

31 March – Art of the Louvre

I had to double check if I was in the right room. Was I in the Louvre or at a rock concert? I felt the elbows and shoulders of strangers all around me, my body was being pushed forward, I even lost my balance a few times. My personal bubble was beyond burst. I heard…

Destyni and Ana - Paris Restaurant
Destyni and Ana – Planning their day in a Paris Restaurant

02 April – My Food Adventures

With my first bite, I tasted crystals of caramelized sugar. Then came the warm embrace of the buttery layers of flaky dough. It was like a super croissant, and I could not get enough of it. Its name was a Kouign Amann, and it’s difficult to find this pastry in regular cafes because it originates…


Destyni and Ana - Strolling through a Paris Market
Destyni and Ana – Strolling through a Paris Market

04 April – Parisian Food Culture

The scents and bright colors attacked my senses. I could smell the freshness of the fruits and vegetables. Is this what real fresh food is like? Is it possible that one can come and buy these products every day? It’s so easy to get seduced by the food in Paris, to get lost in the…

05 April –  All the Symbols

As I roam the streets of Paris I realize there are endless things to discover in this city. I’m not just talking about the monuments. There are hidden details at every turn. This city has amassed so much history that I wonder if even people who were born here have had the opportunity to see…

Ana at Versailles
Ana at Versailles

08 April King’s Power/First Time for Everything

Versailles is breathtakingly beautiful and filled with allegorical features. At a first glance the statues and fountains seem to be just for decoration. However that is not the case, architects thought of everything and had a reason for everything. Everything in Versailles was an expression of the King’s power. The fleur-de-lis and the sun symbols…

Each student will also complete a video project focused on one aspect of the trip they connected with the most, which will be updated here later this spring.

We’re honored to provide this opportunity for student travel year after year, and look forward to seeing the positive impacts of tourism as we follow these student’s bright futures.  If these students have inspired you to visit Paris please be sure to view our numerous selection of tours.