Le Bon: No, I don't think so. Overall, adventure travel has had an incredibly beneficial effect. It's changed tourism and the way a great many people view the world. There are still a lot of buses with tour guides with the little flags, and that's OK. But I've had many clients tell me that adventure travel has changed their lives.
American Way: Do you have other concerns?
Le Bon: There are people out there who would like to see all the mom-and-pop adventure businesses consolidate, and I think that's a mistake. This is not a business that should be run by large corporations concerned only with the bottom line. I think it should stay at the mom-and-pop level, where there is still idealism. That's the beautiful aspect of adventure travel, and I hope it can stay that way.
American Way: What about impacts on once-remote areas?
Le Bon: There are instances where areas are being overused and overrun. The Galápagos comes to mind. Far too many people are going out to the Galápagos. A lot of people are concerned that too many people are visiting Antarctica, too. In Nepal, too many trekkers have had the Sherpas cut too many trees for fires. Now all the trek-king groups that go into these areas, they need to take their own fuel. I think overall adventure travel is far less guilty of destroying the Earth than regular tourism. We don't build big hotels, we don't ask for roads to be built. But we're not perfect.
American Way: What's on the horizon?