April 21st, 2007

If This is Truth in Advertising, It Just Makes Me Sad

So I have this pretty intense assignment on ecotourism. It’s going to be a great story—especially the way this magazine does stories—but as all my assignments are for this vehicle, this one is heavy research, gently modified along the way by my editor, to meet the very specific needs of the publication.

 

So maybe I’m just feeling pressured and persnickety (who, me? Persnickety? Surely not), but this afternoon I was doing a search for “luxury eco resort.” (A quick aside: I had no idea so many movie stars and assorted other famous people owned their own islands, and felt such a driving force to develop them into luxury eco resorts. That’s what I love about my work. I’m always learning!).

 

And while I was doing this search, I came across a web page for what is purportedly a luxury eco resort. Keep in mind, now, that there are two parts of this equation: “luxury,” and “eco.”

 

Now I’m finding out in new ways every day exactly how controversial, amorphous, and poorly defined the term “ecotourism” is—even within the ecotourism industry. So I really, really should not have been irked by this webpage. Ah, well.

 

So the luxurious resort is on an exotic island.

So far so good.

 

It’s in a jungle, even.

That’s fine too.

 

It’s 200 km. from the commercial capital of the island.

Okay.

 

But then it says that the hotel was built on 11 acres of tropical forest.

Which brings me to the startling thought that this commercial venture isn’t particularly ecologically minded. Because wouldn’t it have been more ecological to just leave the jungle alone?

 

Individual chalets weave around the forest, which is home to an abundance of native wildlife.

That just cracks me up.

 

But this was the crowning jewel:

The hotel offers jungle restaurants (okay, I love that too, all by itself. What do they serve at a jungle restaurant? Would Indiana Jones’s various girlfriends be able to dine there in comfort, or are sedatives necessary before the creepy crawlies are served?), a cascading swimming pool, and a jungle bar (do cheetahs serve the drinks, or what?). And guess what, people? All this is offered in “a carefully preserved natural jungle environment.”

 

That’s where I got persnickety. Because if it’s a natural jungle, then am I wrong to think it’s not at all preserved? Because doesn’t preservation mean man has imposed something on it? Am I crazy??? Do I have some sort of strange syntactical disorder?

 

And then a nice little cap:

Nature lovers can wed in traditional native wedding ceremonies. Even if they’re not native, I guess. (Which makes me think of an editor who registered at a different parish, just so she could get married in what she thought was a prettier church, even though she and her fiancé lived in a different city and never, ever, ever, went to church at the place where they were registered. But that’s really more part of a different rant, so I’ll just stop myself right here.)  



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