ruminations about architecture and design

Sunday, March 12, 2017

the curse of tourism

Nice places can suffer from a unique problem: tourists. We should note the difference between a "tourist" and a "visitor" because it is central to an understanding this problem. A "visitor" travels to a different place for an active reason--seeing family, friends, or business associates. A "tourist" travels to the place for the place itself, and by doing so, dehumanizes and corrupts the people who make the place their permanent home. These residents, when confronted by tourists, have to adopt social conventions that are tiresome and routine. Directions must be given, opinions about complex things have to be distilled into an elevator speech format, and most importantly of all, privacy is being constantly violated.

Tourism can only be cured by the Zombie Apocalypse or a complete collapse of transportation energy systems. Even communities that have sought to limit tourists by restrictions on hotels and marketing find their efforts undone the internet and Air BnB.

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