Travel writing: A slice of the world

  • 14 April, 2016
  • Kate Simon

New perspective: A tour uncovering Barcelona's slave-trade history reveals another side of the city

I met a tour operator this week who was more than a little cynical about travel journalism and what value it offers readers. “But what’s new to say about the world,” he said.

Now, therein lies a big debate, one we didn’t really have time to thrash out in full during a tea break at a conference. Briefly, I countered by saying that good travel journalism is about offering a slice of the world.

There’s a good example in The Guardian this week – Barcelona’s Slave Trade History Revealed on New Walking Tour. The article’s author, Richard Eilers, steps out on a new walking tour that uncovers this popular city’s uncomfortable historic connections with the slave trade.

It’s a straightforward piece that trots us through the guided walk – though the subject matter could easily lend itself to quite a long travel essay. Still, the point is it delivers a slice of the world, a new take on Barcelona, however many times we may have visited.