'Gringo Trails' Director on Three Things to Be Aware of When You Travel

Asia Society co-presents Sept. 5 screening and Q & A

A still from 'Gringo Trails,' screening at Cinema Village in New York on Friday, September 5.

Friday, Sept. 5
7:00-9:00 pm
Cinema Village
22 East 12th Street
New York, NY 10003
Click here for tickets

This Friday night in New York City, Asia Society co-presents a screening of Gringo Trails, a new documentary that looks at the environmental and cultural impact of tourism around the world, in such locales as Bolivia, Thailand, Mali, and Bhutan. The film is the product of more than a decade of work by director Pegi Vail, whose love of travel led her to think about the transformative effects of tourism on the places and people involved.

Friday night's screening is a special event that will be followed by a Q & A between Vail and New York Times "Frugal Traveler" columnist Seth Kugel, moderated by Asia Society Film Curator La Frances Hui.

When Gringo Trails had its Asia premiere at Asia Society Hong Kong Center late in December 2013, Vail answered a few questions for Asia Society about her film and some of the thorny cultural and environmental issues surrounding modern-day "destination" tourism that her film raises. For those who want to know more about the movie, here's an excerpt from that interview:

What are three things you want people to be aware of when they are traveling?

1. No matter what budget you are traveling on, it costs nothing to learn about the places you're going to before you go — the dos an don'ts of a place — whether by researching online, reading books written by members of that society you are visiting, or at the very least reading the background in your guidebook.

2. We are not invisible — we are not just affected by the people we meet and places we visit, but potentially have a tremendous effect on them.

3. Learn about indigenous- and community-based tourism initiatives that will benefit the environments and communities they operate from. Visit them. Same for eco-tourism initiatives that have solid reputations. Support these.

Video: Watch the trailer (1 min., 50 sec.)