Are We Ready for the Return of Mass Tourism?

I tapped in big ships on google images and found a bunch of cruise ships in Venice,I want to call fake but I'm actually not sure. Cruise ships are BIG but I don't think they are THIS big. Anyone else want to weigh in? Photoshop or not?
It took a global pandemic for many of us to realize that we live in what Italian journalist and social theorist Marco D’Eramo calls the “Age of Tourism.” He has written a fascinating new  book, of which I have read some extracts that I would like to share some of the sentiments The World in a Selfie: An Inquiry Into the Tourist Age. Tourism has most certainly become the defining industry of the twenty-first century. It is an industry which is made up a galaxy of institutions under the umbrella of "the hospitality industry", from hotel conglomerates and restaurant chains to street mime artists posing in gold sprayed mackintoshes, silver suits or posing as copper cowboys, bronze bishops or metallic building workers waiting sometimes for hours on end in the hope that a passing tourist will stop for a selfie and drop  some money in their cap. Like any job in the tourist industry it is an art that requires a great deal of patience and physical stamina. When the pandemic struck, flights were canceled and cities emptied, the skies overhead went silent revealing just how reliant we all are on those strange creatures: tourists. For me It's going to take weeks of practice to get back to my hospitality skills.
As restrictions are lifted it seems to me tourists are jumping out of their prams before
they have learnt to walk. Lets not run before we can walk eh chaps? At the age of 69 with Portugals flailing vaccine roll out I have not yet received my first jag. As of tomorrow with incoming flights to Faro soaring from one a day to twenty, I ask are we ready to open countries to mass tourism?
We need the income to get back on our feet again but at the risk of the virus spreading
and making us tumble into lockdown again, I don't think so. Until we are all jagged fully we will not be safe.
"Why hasn’t tourism’s importance fully registered before the Covid-19 pandemic and all
the lockdowns happened?” D’Eramo asks. “Because tourists themselves are hard to take seriously.” The tourist’s ill reputation stretches back centuries. “Of all noxious animals too the most noxious is the tourist,” the Reverend Francis Kilvert wrote in his diary in 1870. “If there is one thing more hateful than another it is being told what to admire
and having objects pointed out to one with a stick.” The tourist’s harmful impact on the places they visit was apparent early on.  These complaints might easily have been made today. Even Kilvert’s characterization of tourists as “noxious animals” is echoed in the common description of “herds” of tourists getting off buses and cruise ships.Take Venice as just one example. Lisbon, another, has been rocked by one earthquake in history, does it want its foundations rocked again by gargantuan floating palaces mooring at its foot. And yet, strangely, most of those who malign tourists are often tourists themselves. D’Eramo takes up this paradox and brings into clearer focus the many confounding aspects of tourism: "Why do we hate tourists and yet continue to travel, and why we divvy our leisure time into a structured regimen of sightseeing that resembles something too much like like hard work?" 
D’Eramo is gentler on the figure of the tourist than many of his peers and predecessors. He locates the yearning to travel in a “positive alienation” that drives us to explore the world. He also notes the class-based prejudice and racism embedded in tourist-hating. American tourists reserve their worst prejudice for Japanese tourists, and the wealthy save most of their hatred for the lower classes on package tours who aren’t sufficiently “off the beaten path.”
As we brace for a wave of postpandemic travel, D’Eramo refocuses our attention from the hateful tourist, who is almost all of us, toward tourism as a set of industries, with tentacles that reach everywhere, which has reshaped our cities and politics and almost every facet of life on earth. "The airbnb affect" just one, has destroyed the lives and prospects of many innocent city dwellers just trying to get on an affordable property ladder and those wanting to find affordable apartments to rent. On a recent Airbnb search for somewhere to stay in Lisbon we found multiple properties and condiminiums all belonging to Turkish building syndicates of which none were either properly managed or even available. I rest my case. We are responsible airbnb hosts who offer rooms at competitive prices in our own home and in an ideal world this is how the airbnb system should
As we reluctantly open our doors to the first guests for 9 months, if the truth be known I am scared. After seeing what happened in our little town last summer. It seemed that the city dwelling tourists had put pins in the map of where the lowest instances of covid figures were and made a mass exodus, hell bent on finding self catering accomodation in lesser affected towns and villages like ours close to the coast. It was only after the holidays were over and these visitors had left that we started to see infection figures in areas previously rated zero beginning to see new cases, then continuing to rise.

Please sir I want some Pfizer?


Popular Posts