Welcome to the Tourism Lens Podcast

After much resistance and by popular request, I’m letting go and turning my initial “Viewpoint” interviews into a podcast.

Yes — another travel-related podcast. But mine will feature brief, to the point conversations with a curated list of diverse sustainable tourism advocates doing meaningful work across the travel ecosystem. They’ll come from around the world and bring their ideas, solutions and unvarnished truths so we can all learn from them.

If you’ve followed my career as a travel journalist, you know my passion for equity and inclusion in the tourism space, which are largely lacking whether at the executive levels in the Global North or in the various tourism layers in the Global South. And as someone who was raised in multicultural roots and locales, from West Africa to East, from England to the US and the Caribbean — if there’s one thing I know, it’s the importance of perspective, experience and who is telling the story. Everyone’s experience, trajectory and opinion in this lucrative industry holds weight and teaches us about being better travel advocates and collaborators.

This is the place where you’ll hear those voices.

Welcome to the Tourism Lens Podcast: Whether remote working, vacationing or settling abroad, more people than ever are traveling and having an impact on the places they visit — on the environment, but also on host communities. On this show I sit down with global sustainability thinkers and advocates to discuss critical, thorny issues in tourism. They’ll share ideas and solutions they use. So we can all learn to be better tourism leaders and travelers. 

Preview of Episode 2 – Tourism Lens Podcast: Jake Kheel, vice president at Grupo Puntacana Foundation in the Dominican Republic.

This preview is from an upcoming episode with Jake Kheel, vice president at Grupo Puntacana Foundation — a sustainability center that’s part of a luxury hospitality company, airport and residential grounds — where some of the most advanced solutions in the Caribbean for sargassum and coral reef restoration, among others, are created.

In this next 20-minute episode of the Tourism Lens Podcast, set to release on Sunday, Jake talks about the seaweed crisis as a follow up to my story for Bloomberg Pursuits, coral reef restoration work, and we also touch on what he thinks of the industry’s claim that travelers are growing “more conscious.”

Subscribe to my Youtube Podcast channel for now and look out for my posts on LinkedIn and on Instagram for snippets of upcoming conversations. I hope Tourism Lens will soon become your favorite tourism podcast.


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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