Welcome to Tourism Lens

Tourism Lens is an extension of my lifelong passion for sustainable travel and equity in tourism. I am privileged that my day job allows me to continue writing about and reporting on global travel.

But there’s room to keep getting in the ear of consumers and industry leaders with transparency on issues that impact the tourism industry, against the latter’s promises to “build tourism back better.” Analyses that don’t fit into my work coverage but deserve attention, or stories from the road that will inspire impactful and meaningful travel.

There’s also room to support destinations and businesses on their journey towards low-impact, equitable, community-centered content and storytelling, from a diverse perspective.

Tourism Insights & Analyses

For the industry,Tourism Lens is a hub where you can tap into my insights on global tourism. Topics will range from notable travel developments around the globe to innovative approaches across travel’s segments. This isn’t about keeping up some daily story quota, if not sharing and sounding off about what matters most. Analyses that don’t fit into my daily work coverage but that I find helpful to your work.

Over time, I’ll bring in fresh global perspectives from around the world as well, something this Western-driven industry continues to exclude or minimize.

For travelers, there will be meaningful travel storytelling to guide you on how to make conscious, sustainable tourism choices in the destinations you visit, just as I used to on my former travel blog Sun & Stilettos. Consider this the next-level, post-pandemic edition.

It’s no exaggeration to say that this remains a pivotal time in the tourism industry, when travel is rebounding faster than ever. Yet there are major geopolitical shifts, ongoing pandemic surges, overtourism, catastrophic climate disasters, deeper economic inequality, and… a whole lot of status quo.

But there’s also hope for change. Travelers and industry leaders are increasingly seeking to be more educated on making a positive impact, whether it’s supporting low impact experiences and conscious hotels that do more for their host communities than providing a menial job, or pushing for the right kind of messaging. It’s slow, but it is shifting.

Caye Caulker, Belize – September 2022 – Image by Shaquille Rogers.

Impactful Storytelling

Tourism Lens will also serve as a positive impact consultancy offering impactful storytelling and sustainable tourism content guidance for media and for the industry. As a result of increased demand since my first Impactful Storytelling workshop delivered last year at TravelCon in Memphis, I am in the midst of creating online course content that you’ll be able to purchase and download, as well as an option to add live coaching. I will also continue to be available for hire for in-person workshops at conferences and for speaking engagements.

My aim for now, in addition to the Tourism Lens platform, is to provide input and guidance on shaping sustainable tourism content, communications and offers.

Impactful Storytelling workshop students at TravelCon 2022 in Memphis, Tennessee.

Rethinking Tourism Together

Throughout the past two years, in addition to my community of travelers, I’ve been honored to receive countless messages from colleagues across the tourism chain, letting me know that my tourism analysis helped guide their work in rethinking their strategy post-pandemic, and redesigning their path from a policy standpoint. Humbled, yes, but also surprised because I didn’t know if anyone was listening when I was in the thick of the reporting from my desk.

Without the praise, I’d still keep on speaking up about the importance of tourism, when done right. I’ve had a lifetime of seeing what good and bad tourism can do across several continents, from my birth continent Africa to the Americas, Europe and a tiny bit of Asia (although the best real-life tourism school is the Caribbean).

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    After all these years, I still believe in travel’s power to connect the world and result in economic growth for those who are often excluded from its benefits—the kind of tourism industry that isn’t to the detriment of places and communities.

    That’s why I created Tourism Lens. Travel is fun, but tourism is an economic force and a responsibility for us all to do what’s right—industry, consumer, and media.

    Will your product, service, or content ensure that nature, culture, and community are the key beneficiaries of this lucrative industry? Will you care harder about your impact? 

    If the answer to the latter is yes, join my Tourism Lens community. Subscribe to ensure you receive my monthly newsletter.

    Thank you for stopping by. May our travels and work be positively life-changing for the places and people we encounter.


    Lebawit is an award-winning, independent travel journalist, author and speaker specializing in global tourism. Her reported stories on sustainability, equity, destination management, hospitality, responsible marketing, and climate action have appeared in consumer and trade publications, including Bloomberg, Skift, and Conde Nast Traveler. Read more about Lily here.

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