Planet Esoterica specialises in cataloguing geographical and historical points of interest, focusing particularly on lesser-known and overlooked corners of the globe.
We concentrate on researching one country or region at a time, using a wide variety of online and offline sources, including photo archives, maps and satellite imagery. Our aim in doing so is to create a comprehensive and helpful resource for travel planning, learners, researchers, educators, and the curious.
We established the site for two unorthdox reasons:
In the context of social media and personalised web search, filter bubbles affect the type of content internet users have access to. We want to give people easier access to information and images that might otherwise require hours of time spent sifting through niche websites or trying to locate something on a map. Where possible, we provide practical advice on how to get there and relevant links to help you dig deeper into a topic or area.
Filter bubbles result from algorithms–used in search engines and social media platforms–selectively guessing what a user wants to see. You might think, “So what?” To us, it’s a big deal because we believe these bubbles deprive people of the chance to see, learn about and experience new things.
A number of socio-economic factors cause overtourism. They include the travel industry’s use of traditional volume growth strategies, global tourism’s exponential rise since WWII, and popular places overshadowing the alternatives. The impacts of overtourism are numerous too. Problems include: environmental degradation, increased congestion and energy demands, damage to historical sites, loss of authenticity and cultural identity, and increased inequality among residents. The phenomena of viral content–especially visual–means that internet users frequently see the same imagery and visitors are more likely to seek those places for their own travels. When it comes to images, it’s almost as if we’re living in a digital house of mirrors, where the same subject is reflected over and over from different angles.
The bottom line is: we want to ease overtourism’s negative impact by shedding as much light as we can on under-represented places and help people venture farther afield and away from the well-travelled paths.
We’re not elitist. We realise popular places are popular for a reason, so we cover them too—but also want to show that just because a place isn’t well-known, it doesn’t mean it’s not worthy of coverage or on-par with more-known spots.
So, whoever you are, and whatever your reason is for visiting Planet Esoterica, we just want to say thanks for stopping by and we hope you discover something new and interesting.