What happens to a tourist paradise when no one shows up to visit? Rapa Nui, known to many as Easter Island, typically welcomes more than 120,000 visitors each year—which is a lot for a place with only 10,000 residents. After COVID-19 shuts down flights to this remote island, citizens reimagine what their lives, their livelihood, and their home can be without tourism — and dream of what a post-pandemic paradise economy might look like.
Want to talk more about this episode? Chat with host Saleem Reshamwala on Twitter at @kidethnic.
To learn more, check out guest Sergio Rapu Haoa's TEDx talk on "The Mysteries of Easter Island."
Special thanks to Mario Tuki (and Amahiro), Erity Teave for sharing their music with us and to Sergio Matau Rapu for sharing his wisdom about the island and connecting us to everyone you heard in today’s episode.
Pindrop is produced by Jesse Baker and Eric Nuzum of Magnificent Noise for TED. Our production staff includes Sabrina Farhi, Hiwote Getaneh, Kim Nederveen Pieterse, Elyse Blennerhassett, Angela Cheng, and Michelle Quint, with the guidance of Roxanne Hai Lash and Colin Helms. This episode was mixed and sound designed by Kristin Muller, and our fact-checker is Abbey White.