Elizabeth Becker is the award-winning author of “Overbooked: The Exploding Business of Travel and Tourism”and former International Economics correspondent of The New York Times. She has reported from Europe, Asia, and South America on trade, agriculture, international finance, and the effect that rapid change was having on people both in the U.S. and overseas. In “Overbooked” she uncovers the vast, often hidden, and sometimes destructive dimensions of the global tourism industry.
“There are countless tourism books about where to go and what to do once you are there but very few that treat tourism itself as something that matters, as arguably the biggest industry in the world.”
Today, poor nations often see tourism as their best route out of poverty, second only to oil and energy as the major engine of development. Tourism can greatly lift a nation’s economic standing, but, like any major industry, tourism has its darker (or dystopian) sides.
Elizabeth Becker has won awards from the Robert Kennedy Book Awards, Overseas Press Club, and Dupont-Columbia and was part of the New York Times staff that won the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for public service. She was a Goldstein fellow at Harvard’s Shorenstein Center, where she began her research on the travel industry. She is the author of three books on Southeast Asia, has lived in Asia and Europe, and travels extensively. She lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband and is the mother of two grown children. We are very excited to have her join our conversation on the publishing of Frommer’s “Europe on $5 A Day” and the tourism industry in America on Thursday, October 10th.