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The Final Call

The Final Call is the story of what they don’t tell you in the glossy brochures.

Tourism is the biggest service industry in the world. It employs one in every eleven workers on the planet. Yet while it is built on the sale of fantasies, there is all too often an ugly, damaging reality and it is spreading unchecked to all corners of the globe.

This is an investigative travelogue, written as Hickman journeys around the world, from theme park to golf course, from sunlounger to ecolodge. At each destination we hear from the key protagonists: the holidaymaker, waiter, hotelier, souvenir-seller, prostitute, environmentalist, tour guide, chambermaid and the local politician.

All of them want us to ask ourselves some hard questions: Who really pays for our trip away? And is it even possible to have a ‘good’ holiday?

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Skiing in the Alps; Cruising in the Caribbean; Backpacking in Thailand; Lying on a beach in Kerala. Sounds like bliss, doesn't it? But what cost are our two weeks in the sun having on the destinations we fantasize all year about visiting? From the cruise ship to the pistes, from the sun lounger to the themepark, Leo Hickman has been on a quest to discover how we can have a truly "good" holiday. No industry in the world employs more people or earns more foreign currency for destination countries than tourism. Long billed as the "cleanest" industry for developing countries to invest in, tourism seems to offer everyone involved a positive experience. This is the official line, anyway. In truth, the reality is much more complex. On his travels, Hickman interviewed all the key players from chambermaids through to global CEO's to try and get a full picture of the environmental and social cost of our bids to escape. Behind the sunny facade of smiling locals and exquisite cuisine he found an often damaging phenomenon that is spreading unchecked to all corners of the globe. But none of us are going to stop holidaying and at the heart of "The Final Call" is an emphatic attempt to impassion readers, not turn them off tourism. By offering solutions, Leo hopes to guide readers towards making informed decisions in their holiday choices.

About The Author

Leo Hickman is the ethical living columnist for the Guardian. He is the author A Good Life: The Guide to Ethical Living and A Life Stripped Bare. He is married to Jane and has two young children.


Jeremy Leggett

I very much hope this important book helps to awaken people, and make them want to join the debate.

Jason Webster, author of GUERRA

A fascinating and harrowing read...The publication of this could well prove to be a 'tipping point'.

Zac Goldsmith

Well written, entertaining and hugely important.

Philip Pullman

One of the clearest and most sobering analyses I've ever seen of the environmental...and economic damage done by tourism.

Travel Weekly

There is plenty of interest here, not least in its accessible description of how the travel industry works...Sobering stuff.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Eden Project Books; New title edition (4 Jun 2007)
  • Language English
  • ISBN-10: 1903919991
  • ISBN-13: 978-1903919996
  • Product Dimensions: 23.2 x 14.8 x 3.8 cm

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At the Eden Project we believe plants are important to the future of us and our planet. Through our gardens and Biomes we inspire visitors to reconnect with the natural world around them - and to want to help preserve it. The money you spend in the Eden webshop goes towards our environmental education programmes.

Over 40,000 under-16s from 900 different schools visit our 'living classroom' each year. They get a unique opportunity to delve deep into the rainforest and form the vital connection with their environment that inspires them to want to conserve it.

Find out more about our plans to build a canopy walkway to continue our educational work around rainforests.

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