Paradise found almost always means paradise lost .

This is a quote I read a couple years back. It stuck with me. As travellers we’d like to think that we do good by going someplace else. But no matter our intentions or reasons, the more travellers come, the more the destination changes. When we start promoting and developing a new hidden-gem, more people will eventually visit it. This can bring benefits, but often the destination also loses its charm.

We need to do things differently. Therefore I approach travel and tourism in a new way. Paradise Found is all about responsible travelling. This does not only involve being conscious about environmental sustainability. It also has to do with the impact tourism has on the local culture and economy.

After completing my PhD research into sustainable tourism at Erasmus University in Rotterdam, I am now fully committed to further putting the knowledge I have gained into practice. Paradise Found was founded to close the (sometimes large) gap between science and ‘the real world’ by sharing scientific knowledge with practice. Now that my PhD has been completed, the situation is reversed: I am working on sustainable change in practice, but always supported by a scientific basis. My goal is to inspire policymakers, DMOs and travellers and to encourage change. I like to show you how things can be done differently.

Oh, and my ideal vacation? Travel by train to the mountains to hike in nature!

Shirley Nieuwland
Founder of Paradise Found

Photo: Mark Uyl
Photo: Mark Uyl

I am convinced of the power of collaboration. You too? Get in touch.