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Clara T Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 02:12 PM
Original message
Edited on Sat Mar-04-06 02:14 PM by Clara T

David Nicholson-Lord

Tourism is by some estimates the worlds biggest industry; its certainly among the fastest-growing, and few believe the events of 11th September 2001 will cause anything more than a downward blip on a steep upward curve. In 1950 there were around 25 million international tourist visits. Currently there are around 700 million. By 2020 there will be around 1.6 billion.


Which leads on neatly to the third paradox, the idea that tourism confers vast but intangible social benefits. This notion takes many forms, from the adage that travel broadens the mind to the principle of world peace through travel the motto, remarkably, of the Hilton hotel chain. Most people perceive the reality to be otherwise. Indeed, it would be hard to conceive of an industry with more potential for misunderstanding and conflict, particularly in the developing world. Throughout much of Asia, Africa and South America, tourism cruelly exposes the fault lines of global economic inequality. Most interactions between tourists and local people revolve round the cash nexus they are only about money.

THE FEUDAL NORTHSOUTH relationships characteristic of tourism are hardly likely to increase international understanding. And there are two further distinctive features that seem almost guaranteed to increase resentment. First, unlike most other industries, which keep their raw material decently out of harms way inside factories or offices, tourists get everywhere, often in large numbers; people who gain no benefit from tourism must thus suffer its consequences. And second, in its drive to broaden the mind, tourism seeks out the richness and strangeness of other cultures, and routinely, inexorably, destroys them. There is the phenomenon labelled staged authenticity, in which a local cultural tradition, once celebrated for its own sake and out of a belief in its intrinsic value, turns into a tourist spectacle and thus, insidiously, into a performance.

In Thailand, for example, under the impact of dollar-driven tourism strategies and with the collaboration of local hoteliers and chambers of commerce, old festivals have expanded beyond recognition, and new ones have been conjured up spuriously from history or simply transplanted from abroad Chiang Mai, bizarrely, now celebrates Mardi Gras. The citys flower festival in February "rooted in history", the brochures would have you believe didnt exist twenty years ago. Buddhist ceremonies have become such a tourist draw that the most important local temple, Doi Suthep, last year announced plans to charge foreign nationals $3 for entrance. In one sense, you could argue, its harmless enough like the hill tribe women donning their indigenous finery to sell baubles or the local administration instructing staff to wear regional costume in the office. Whats wrong with dressing up and pretending? Isnt that what they do in Disneyland? Equally, its not what it purports to be. It has undergone a subtle interior change, into a branch of commercial culture, of marketing.
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pitohui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 02:22 PM
Response to Original message
1. that's awfully...i know better than you what you need, isn't it?
did mr. nicholson-lord bother to ask the people of thailand if they want the tourists there? or did he just presume they're a nuisance? because the people of thailand have been working awfully damn hard to rebuild their tourism industry after the tsunami tragedy, and here in new orleans we are working awfully damn hard in hopes of rebuilding our tourism industry after katrina

i don't know where he lives, but if he dislikes tourists in his town, he's welcome to send them and their dollars to new orleans

what IS wrong w. dressing up and pretending? that's what carnival/mardi gras has always been about, if thailand wants to join the party, why shouldn't they? the most popular tourist destinations in the world are fantasy places like vegas, if you wanted too much reality, you could stay home and put in some overtime
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Clara T Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 03:12 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. You should see the real costs of air travel and tourism
The people of Thailand et al (It seems Thailand is the Globalization poster child these days as was Argentina before their fake economy crashed) are dependent on being servants to the leisure class because they are being pushed from their ancestral lands and forced into the service (SERVANT) economy for survival as well as being the cogs of cheap labor for the Western Market gadget seekers. Same pattern as everywhere else.

So while the planet burns people keep flying with all their personal rationales.

Nothing wrong with dressing up and partying why not make those events close to home. Is it necessary to fly a thousand miles to enjoy oneself. If this is the case it is a sad commentary on what we have created as our homes and daily lives (or what has been created for us which is the same economic model that is being exported all round the globe).

"As it has grown, so have its destructive effects become manifest, and these are greater than most of us might suspect. Along with television, tourism is one of the most potent agents of globalization tourists are the shock troops of Western-style capitalism, distributing social and psychological viruses just as effectively as earlier colonists spread smallpox, measles and TB in their wake. And as with globalization, there are voices urging reform."

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pitohui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 03:35 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. jeezus
the most miserable form of existence in the world is subsistence farming, you want to keep them trapped in that forever until the soil washes into the sea?

hmm, choice between running a little bar or b&b or hauling chicken shit on the family farm, hell, there's no choice

again, i say, have you asked the people of thailand what they prefer? because if they resent tourists and their dollar they sure have a funny way of making it known

if you don't want to travel, don't travel, no one can make you, but visitors make a real difference to us here on the gulf coast, we didn't build all these casinos because we wanted you to stay home or because we'd rather be cutting down every last tree and farming every last square of swamp, in many areas, tourism and the national parks that the writer shits on in that article are the only thing that stand between many animal and plant species having a place to live and being an old moldy stuffed exhibit at the british museum

most americans DON'T travel internationally anyway, except for business, it's the western europeans and especially the australians, crap, i sometimes wonder if there's an australian left at home :-)
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Clara T Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 03:46 PM
Original message
Subsistence farming
is laden with mythologies and if done in a non-servile manner it is not miserable at all, it is glorious.

BTW I have farmed in the nearly so-called subsistence way. It is a good life.
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pitohui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 03:48 PM
Response to Original message
6. i leave you to it then
but to wish that on a people who clearly would rather move on seems a bit...i don't know

as i said in my first post, the whole attitude of the article is i know better than you what's best for you

just hits me wrong

my dad's family worked too damn hard to get off the damn farm for me to buy into that
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Clara T Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 09:24 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. 60% of Air Travel is for Tourism- Air Travel is Imperiling the Planet
Air travel pollution

In response to the rising number of tourists and their greater mobility, transport by air, road, and rail is continuously increasing ? a report by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) stated that the number of international air passengers world-wide rose from 88 million in 1972 to 344 million in 1994. As a consequence, tourism now accounts for more than 60% of air travel and is therefore responsible for an estimated 7% of total carbon globally. This percentage is likely to rise considerably with the number of international travellers expected to increase from 594 million in 1996 to 1.6 billion by 2020, thus adding greatly to the problem unless steps are taken to reduce emissions. One study estimated that a single transatlantic return flight emits roughly half the CO2 emissions produced by all other sources (lighting, heating, car use, etc.) consumed by an average person yearly. As such, passenger jets are the fastest growing source of greenhouse gas emissions.

According to the Natural Resource Defence Council (NRDC), fuel burned by aeroplanes puts nitrogen oxide and water vapour at 30,000 feet. These two additional greenhouse gases together give as much as twice the global warming effect as the carbon dioxide released by the aeroplane. One tree offsets the carbon dioxide emitted by the aeroplane over 4,000 miles and two more trees offset the greenhouse effect caused by the nitrogen oxide and water vapour.

How Air Travel Is Imperiling Passengers And The Planet

With both poles melting down toward a cataclysmic methane release from thawing tundra and ocean seafloorsand with another 13,500 heavy jetliners scheduled to enter service by 2017, more than doubling the current fleeta recent British government report calls jet travel a risk to planet and urges travelers in the UK and EU to take the train instead.

Were talking bye-bye civilization within our lifetime. Jet-induced pollutants and cloud cover account for more than 10% of global greenhouse warming. Yet more than five million civil and nearly 2,800 military flights continue each year to significantly affect an atmosphere already hammered by outmoded engines and smokestack industries belching toxic gasses at ground level.

I'm not sure of what you mean by "a people who clearly would rather move on." You could explain?

We like to think that the leisure class can avoid work because they have money. They can. But the work still must be done. The average American has 300 energy slaves.

Tourism is toxic in numerous ways and as an economic panacea relies on demeaning work and the perpetuation of the stereotypes and results in the Disneyfication of local customs.

Show me one heavily touristed area and we will see all the dysfunctional aspects of the economic model prevalent in the West writ large.

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rfkrfk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 02:29 PM
Response to Original message
2. tax on jet fuel for international flight, zero, not one penny
in the US,tax on jet fuel for domestic flight is
four cents a gallon, four cents

look, people in the hospitality trade work hard
for their money, but I want ther to be more
that just maids, cabbies, and cooks,
as jobs
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pitohui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 03:46 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. and there is more
you have a v. limited idea of the tourism industry my friend

in some countries -- and thailand happens to be one -- w. its thriving medical and tourism industry, that's doctors, dentists, even specialists in everything from cosmetic surgery to gender reassignment surgery

there are guides of every kind and at every level of skill, from simple entertainers to experts with doctorates in ornithology or other environmentally related causes, there is a fine bird guide from lsu who often leads tours to peru to fund his research, he has already discovered and named 3 new species of birds -- and all this funded by tourists who hire him, because there is no dept. of defense or big pharmaceutical company grants for people studying wild birds or other wild animals you know!

there are entertainers, such as the live musicians and comedians who would otherwise never have a stage sufficient to pay their way and who would have to give up their dream of performing

there are the planners -- the convention planners, the party planners, the wedding planners that bring both business people and families/friends together in a fresh setting where they can see things w. fresh eyes

there are the bartenders and the chefs at every level of skill, from a bradley ogden or an emeril's down to the lady who does grills up some langostinos over a propane stove in a tiny cantina in the mountains of mexico -- "cook" may be a job that you consider scornful but i live in new orleans and there is no higher gift than the ability to cook a good meal

there are the pilots who fly you, the drivers who drive you, the operators of trains and tubes

and, yeah, there must be maids, landscapers, bell boys, the guy who opens the door and catches you a cab, but you know what? it's still better than shoveling shit on the chicken farm and never going 5 miles away from your village in your entire life, it's an opportunity for something better and to give your kids a shot at something better

I want ther to be more
that just maids, cabbies, and cooks,
as jobs

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