The Documentary Humanitarian Tourism focuses on the island of Lesbos/Greece caught in the contradiction between tourist paradise and humanitarian crisis. We explore how people deal with it living, working or spending a holiday: locals, journalists, tourists either trying to shield themselves or joining voluntary work.
The film follows the journey of the crew of two, both from refugee background themselves, along the path from the arriving boats to the camps, including the infamous Moria, meeting locals who are either attempting to build gated communities for tourists to save their business or who joined humanitarian aid in the refugee camps. Media people are struggling to take an objective position by avoiding involvement, even as they wrestle with feelings of guilt while filming others fight for survival. Last but not least, tourists are observed trying to find calm spots to pass a nice holiday. Within this particular group, however, a curious divide is quickly made apparent: some of the tourists are completely undisturbed by the humanitarian crisis and others feel convicted to use their holiday to work with the refugees as volunteers.
In the end, the filmmakers must begin to question their own position, despite their own family history and best intentions, they too must grapple the fact that they are privileged enough to be able to leave on a tourism charter plane after the visit in the crisis zone, leaving behind those who are not so fortunate.