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How holidaying in developing countries affects local inequality

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/alexander-tziamalis-333272">Alexander Tziamalis</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/sheffield-hallam-university-846">Sheffield Hallam University</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/yuan-wang-1360783">Yuan Wang</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/sheffield-hallam-university-846">Sheffield Hallam University</a></em></p> <p>A few years ago, one of us (Alex) went for a vacation to the Dominican Republic. The motivation was similar to millions of other tourists every year: escape the daily routine, enjoy the sun and beaches, and gather some strength to face another cold winter.</p> <p>Unfortunately, a few things weren’t very conducive to a happy break. The staff at the mammoth hotel were making as little as US$1 (£0.79) for a 12-hour shift. Worse, most of them lived in a shanty town nearby. They had no sewers and no reliable electricity.</p> <p>The hotel also exploited its power over local farmers to procure food exceedingly cheaply. Schools were overcrowded and many children dropped out to work in businesses like these hotels and farms, perpetuating the cycle.</p> <p>This anecdotal picture is corroborated by the country’s economic data. Despite <a href="https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GDP.MKTP.KD.ZG?locations=DO">GDP growth</a> frequently above 5% each year, the Dominican Republic suffers from <a href="https://dominicantoday.com/dr/local/2023/02/17/dominican-republic-shows-a-high-level-of-economic-inequality-in-latin-america-and-the-caribbean/">substantial inequality</a>. The wealthiest 1% capture 30% of all income, compared to 18% in the US.</p> <p>But how bad is tourism for inequality in developing countries overall? <a href="https://shura.shu.ac.uk/31942/">Our recent research</a> has sought to answer this, looking at 71 countries around the world. The picture is complicated, but the overall results are not as bleak as you might fear.</p> <h2>Upsides and downsides</h2> <p>Clearly there are pros and cons to tourism. It makes holidaymakers happy while bringing people closer and promoting awareness of other cultures. It empowers communities and provides disadvantaged groups with opportunities, from the local artisan who can sell directly to customers, to women <a href="https://blogs.worldbank.org/psd/empowering-women-through-tourism-0">who would otherwise</a> be struggling to find work.</p> <p>Tourism sustains a lot of jobs and economic value overall, making it attractive to governments as a way of boosting growth. In 2019 there were a whopping <a href="https://www.statista.com/statistics/209334/total-number-of-international-tourist-arrivals/#:%7E:text=Despite%20the%20significant%20annual%20increase,lowest%20figure%20recorded%20since%201989">1.5 billion</a> international tourist arrivals around the world. They were serviced by <a href="https://www.statista.com/statistics/1268465/number-of-travel-and-tourism-jobs-worldwide/#:%7E:text=Despite%20the%20increase%2C%20the%20number,to%20320%20million%20in%202023.">nearly 300 million</a> travel and tourism workers, and the sector generated <a href="https://wttc.org/research/economic-impact#:%7E:text=In%202022%2C%20the%20Travel%20%26%20Tourism,%2C%20only%2014.1%25%20below%202019.">over 7%</a> of global GDP.</p> <p>On the other hand, tourism can <a href="https://www.theworldcounts.com/challenges/consumption/transport-and-tourism/negative-environmental-impacts-of-tourism">degrade the environment</a>. Witness the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu in the Peruvian Andes needing to <a href="https://www.machupicchutrek.net/how-many-tourists-visit-machu-picchu-annually/">restrict</a> the number of visitors, for instance, because the site was <a href="https://storymaps.arcgis.com/stories/d2f4fc1c7b314cc8a6c8af466cec0d24">getting damaged</a>.</p> <p>Equally, <a href="https://www.itmustbenow.com/feature/our-big-questions/exploitation-travel-tourism/">tourism is associated</a> with other <a href="https://www.cntraveler.com/galleries/2015-06-19/barcelona-bhutan-places-that-limit-tourist-numbers">knock-on effects</a> such as water scarcity, pollution, crime, sex exploitation and destroying tradition.</p> <p>But what about inequality? The tourism industry <a href="https://www.itmustbenow.com/feature/our-big-questions/exploitation-travel-tourism/">is frequently associated</a> with ridiculously low wages, long hours without a break, and unhealthy conditions for live-in staff. Dedicated trade unions often don’t exist, or they’re underpowered and cannot effectively protect workers.</p> <p>Tourism can also distort the economy. <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2022/aug/10/i-wanted-my-children-to-grow-up-here-how-airbnb-is-ruining-local-communities-in-north-wales">In the UK</a> for example, communities in many popular tourist destinations cannot afford to buy a home anymore.</p> <p>Yet when you look at how tourism affects equality overall, the existing academic literature shows conflicting results. A number of studies <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0160738316301281#:%7E:text=Findings%20confirm%20that%20tourism%20increases%20income%20inequality%20in%20developing%20economies.&amp;text=The%20squared%20tourism%20revenue%20has%20a%20significant%20negative%20impact%20on%20income%20inequality.&amp;text=Findings%20confirm%20the%20presence%20of%20Kuznets%20curve%20hypothesis.">find that</a> it worsens income inequality, while others <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0047287520954538">find the opposite</a>.</p> <p>If you were wondering about the Dominican Republic, there’s <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0047287518789272#:%7E:text=The%20results%20showed%20that%20income,in%20the%20distribution%20of%20wealth.">a study</a> showing that tourism actually has a negligible impact on inequality.</p> <h2>Our findings</h2> <p>Ours is the first study to <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/13548166231177106">look at the effect</a> of a few potential determining factors to try and gain a deeper understanding of the relationship between tourism and equality. These factors include the country’s level of economic and financial development, inflation rate and government policies seeking to redistribute wealth.</p> <p>Our dataset spans from 1996–2016. We would have ideally looked at even more than 71 countries, but others had to be excluded because good-quality data was unavailable.</p> <p>We found that tourism eased income inequality in lower income countries when it went hand in hand with redistributive policies. <a href="https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:6nbn68M3_toJ:https://dailynews.co.tz/how-tz-could-attract-more-tourists/&amp;cd=8&amp;hl=en&amp;ct=clnk&amp;gl=uk">Tanzania, for example,</a> gets 17% of its GDP from tourism. This has enabled the country to <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8121963/">significantly increase</a> its spending on health, education and infrastructure.</p> <p>In wealthier countries, the opposite was counterintuitively the case: increasing tourism exacerbated inequality when combined with redistributive policies.</p> <p>It may be that in places where education and infrastructure are already at high levels, improving them has less effect on inequality. Or it may be that improving the welfare system reduces workers’ incentive to upskill and seek better paid jobs in other sectors. These possibilities need further investigation.</p> <p>Our analysis also highlighted the importance of financial opportunities such as broad access to bank credit. All countries with more inclusive financial systems comparatively reduced inequality when they brought in more tourists.</p> <p>It might be that financial access enables a broader cross-section of entrepreneurs to set up or expand tourist businesses, with knock-on benefits to their communities. This is bad news for developing countries like India, Brazil South Africa and Barbados, where <a href="https://www.worldbank.org/en/news/press-release/2015/09/14/long-term-finance-shortage-post-2008-crisis-blunts-progress-in-developing-countries">it’s difficult</a> to obtain long-term loan, which usually come with onerous terms.</p> <p>Having said that, the benefits from financial access were more marked in developed countries. In such countries, it may be that this galvanises proportionately more entrepreneurs because they are not being held back to the same extent by other problems like corruption and poor education.</p> <p>When we looked at the effect of inflation, it worsened inequality in richer countries <a href="https://www.niesr.ac.uk/blog/unequal-impact-rising-inflation">like the UK</a> as tourism increases. We suspect that when inflation takes off in wealthier countries, it’s more difficult for tourism workers to renegotiate their wages quickly because employment contracts are more formal.</p> <p>Equally, poorer countries are often more used to higher inflation, so workers may be more adept at such negotiations.</p> <p>So overall, it’s not possible to say that increasing tourism widens or reduces inequality – it very much depends on other factors. But clearly tourism can be good news for inequality in poorer countries when it’s combined with redistributive policies and financial inclusion.</p> <p>This certainly won’t solve problems like worker exploitation across the board, but it does mean that holidaying in developing countries will often be helping them to become more equal over time.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/208690/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/alexander-tziamalis-333272"><em>Alexander Tziamalis</em></a><em>, Senior Lecturer in Economics, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/sheffield-hallam-university-846">Sheffield Hallam University</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/yuan-wang-1360783">Yuan Wang</a>, Seinor Lecturer in Economics, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/sheffield-hallam-university-846">Sheffield Hallam University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/how-holidaying-in-developing-countries-affects-local-inequality-208690">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Travel Trouble

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‘Sleep tourism’ promises the trip of your dreams. Beyond the hype plus 5 tips for a holiday at home

<div class="theconversation-article-body"> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/charlotte-gupta-347235">Charlotte Gupta</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/cquniversity-australia-2140">CQUniversity Australia</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/dean-j-miller-808724">Dean J. Miller</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/cquniversity-australia-2140">CQUniversity Australia</a></em></p> <p>Imagine arriving at your hotel after a long flight and being greeted by your own personal sleep butler. They present you with a pillow menu and invite you to a sleep meditation session later that day.</p> <p>You unpack in a room kitted with an AI-powered smart bed, blackout shades, blue light-blocking glasses and weighted blankets.</p> <p>Holidays are traditionally for activities or sightseeing – eating Parisian pastry under the Eiffel tower, ice skating at New York City’s Rockefeller Centre, lying by the pool in Bali or sipping limoncello in Sicily. But “<a href="https://www.smh.com.au/traveller/inspiration/pillow-menus-and-sleep-gummies-the-new-hotel-trend-that-s-putting-guests-to-sleep-20230823-p5dyu5.html">sleep tourism</a>” offers vacations for the sole purpose of getting good sleep.</p> <p>The emerging trend extends out of the global wellness tourism industry – reportedly worth more than <a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/rogersands/2023/11/17/the-global-wellness-tourism-sector-surpasses-814-billion-market-share/">US$800 billion globally</a> (A$1.2 trillion) and <a href="https://www.statista.com/statistics/1018497/global-market-size-of-the-wellness-tourism-industry/">expected to boom</a>.</p> <p>Luxurious sleep retreats and sleep suites at hotels are popping up <a href="https://www.countryandtownhouse.com/style/health-and-beauty/sleep-retreats/">all over the world</a> for tourists to get some much-needed rest, relaxation and recovery. But do you really need to leave home for some shuteye?</p> <h2>Not getting enough</h2> <p>The rise of sleep tourism may be a sign of just how chronically sleep deprived we all are.</p> <p>In Australia more than one-third of adults are not achieving the recommended <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352721816301292?via%3Dihub">7–9 hours</a> of sleep per night, and the estimated cost of this inadequate sleep is <a href="https://academic.oup.com/sleep/article/41/8/zsy083/5025924">A$45 billion</a> each year.</p> <p>Inadequate sleep is linked to <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.2147/NSS.S134864">long-term health problems</a> including poor mental health, heart disease, metabolic disease and deaths from any cause.</p> <h2>Can a fancy hotel give you a better sleep?</h2> <p>Many of the sleep services available in the sleep tourism industry aim to optimise the bedroom for sleep. This is a core component of <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4400203/?ref=askdoctorjad.com">sleep hygiene</a> – a series of healthy sleep practices that facilitate good sleep including sleeping in a comfortable bedroom with a good mattress and pillow, sleeping in a quiet environment and relaxing before bed.</p> <p>The more people follow sleep hygiene practices, the better their <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/08964280209596396">sleep quality and quantity</a>.</p> <p>When we are staying in a hotel we are also likely away from any stressors we encounter in everyday life (such as work pressure or caring responsibilities). And we’re away from potential nighttime disruptions to sleep we might experience at home (the construction work next door, restless pets, unsettled children). So regardless of the sleep features hotels offer, it is likely we will experience improved sleep when we are away.</p> <h2>What the science says about catching up on sleep</h2> <p>In the short-term, <a href="https://theconversation.com/is-it-possible-to-catch-up-on-sleep-we-asked-five-experts-98699#:%7E:text=We%20can%20catch%20up%20on,and%20we%20cannot%20resist%20sleep.">we can catch up on sleep</a>. This can happen, for example, after a short night of sleep when our brain accumulates “<a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.3109/07420528.2012.675256">sleep pressure</a>”. This term describes how strong the biological drive for sleep is. More sleep pressure makes it easier to sleep the next night and to sleep for longer.</p> <p>But while a longer sleep the next night can relieve the sleep pressure, it does not reverse the <a href="https://jcsm.aasm.org/doi/pdf/10.5664/jcsm.26918">effects of the short sleep on our brain and body</a>. Every night’s sleep is important for our body to recover and for our brain to process the events of that day. Spending a holiday “catching up” on sleep could help you feel more rested, but it is not a substitute for prioritising regular healthy sleep at home.</p> <p>All good things, including holidays, must come to an end. Unfortunately the perks of sleep tourism may end too.</p> <p>Our bodies do not like variability in the time of day that we sleep. The most common example of this is called “<a href="https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/13/12/4543">social jet lag</a>”, where weekday sleep (getting up early to get to work or school) is vastly different to weekend sleep (late nights and sleep ins). This can result in a sleepy, grouchy start to the week on Monday. Sleep tourism may be similar, if you do not come back home with the intention to prioritise sleep.</p> <p>So we should be mindful that as well as sleeping well on holiday, it is important to optimise conditions at home to get consistent, adequate sleep every night.</p> <h2>5 tips for having a sleep holiday at home</h2> <p>An AI-powered mattress and a sleep butler at home might be the dream. But these features are not the only way we can optimise our sleep environment and give ourselves the best chance to get a good night’s sleep. Here are five ideas to start the night right:</p> <p><strong>1.</strong> avoid bright artificial light in the evening (such as bright overhead lights, phones, laptops)</p> <p><strong>2.</strong> make your bed as comfortable as possible with fresh pillows and a supportive mattress</p> <p><strong>3.</strong> use black-out window coverings and maintain a cool room temperature for the ideal sleeping environment</p> <p><strong>4.</strong> establish an evening wind-down routine, such as a warm shower and reading a book before bed or even a “<a href="https://theconversation.com/turns-out-the-viral-sleepy-girl-mocktail-is-backed-by-science-should-you-try-it-222151">sleepy girl mocktail</a>”</p> <p><strong>5.</strong> use consistency as the key to a good sleep routine. Aim for a similar bedtime and wake time – even on weekends.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/231718/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/charlotte-gupta-347235">Charlotte Gupta</a>, Senior postdoctoral research fellow, Appleton Institute, HealthWise research group, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/cquniversity-australia-2140">CQUniversity Australia</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/dean-j-miller-808724">Dean J. Miller</a>, Adjunct Research Fellow, Appleton Institute of Behavioural Science, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/cquniversity-australia-2140">CQUniversity Australia</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/sleep-tourism-promises-the-trip-of-your-dreams-beyond-the-hype-plus-5-tips-for-a-holiday-at-home-231718">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Travel Trouble

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Tourism Australia staff caught spending $140k of taxpayers' money on personal travel

<p>Three Tourism Australia employees have been fired after spending $137,441 of taxpayers' money for personal travel expenses, with the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) called in to investigate.  </p> <p>Tourism Australia is the government agency in charge of promoting Australia's tourism industry abroad. </p> <p>Tourism Australia chief executive Phillipa Harrison appeared before a Senate committee in Canberra on Tuesday and confirmed the breach of the agency’s travel policy. </p> <p>The spending  had been uncovered in October 2023 when the agency's own staff detected the misuse of funds and “immediately reported and escalated” it. </p> <p>“The three employees undertook personal travel that was booked through Tourism Australia’s corporate travel agent and was invoiced to Tourism Australia,” she told the committee. </p> <p>“Tourism Australia demanded that the three individuals repay the full amount of this travel.”</p> <p>She added that the full amount was repaid to Tourism Australia last December, and the three employees have since been sacked. </p> <p>Harrison also said that Deloitte was hired to do an extensive audit dating back to 2021 “to ensure that we understood the full extent of the issue” but “no further instances of wrongdoing were identified”.</p> <p>“Off the back of the audit I have overseen a strengthening of our travel policy processes to ensure the conduct cannot be repeated,” she said.</p> <p>Tourism Australia have referred the matter to the NACC and are awaiting a response. </p> <p>When asked by New South Wales Nationals senator Ross Cadell about the identities of the staff and whether the agency's chief financial officer was among those involved, she replied: "The NACC has advised me that I'm unable to provide the further details on the roles and the people involved until they have finished their investigations." </p> <p>"To do so may compromise current or potential investigations, and prematurely impact the reputations of individuals in circumstances where the legislation enacted by parliament intends to avoid that by requiring that investigations, generally, be conducted in private and that information concerning them is not to be disclosed."</p> <p>She took a question on notice about how many trips were booked by the staff and the destinations for the travel. </p> <p>Her refusal to answer the questions caught the senator off-guard and he said: “I am shooketh, shaken, by not being able to ask these questions,” before calling a short suspension to discuss the concerns. </p> <p>On return, she officially claimed “public interest immunity” and was told she had to outline the situation in writing. </p> <p>"I have to say, this is the first time in my experience where a direction from the NACC has directed an official not to make a public statement," Tourism and Trade Minister Don Farrell said. </p> <p>"This does present some significant issues which I myself would like to get clarified.</p> <p>"You and I both voted for this legislation and obviously this is how it's being applied. The witness, obviously, has to comply with the direction of the NACC, she has no choice."</p> <p>The matter has not been referred to authorities. </p> <p><em>Image: Tourism Australia/ news.com.au</em></p>

Travel Trouble

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Tourist's shocking behaviour sparks fury

<p>Locals were left fuming after a picture of a tourist wearing next to nothing while shopping down a busy street went viral in Palma, Mallorca. </p> <p>The man confidently made his way through the sunny city centre in nothing but a pair of Speedos and shoes, surrounded by others who were fully dressed. </p> <p>“Please arrest these near naked people,” one woman wrote.</p> <p>“Or the shirtless, near nude, bikini wearing morons who wander around markets, towns and shops. Ukkk! Quality tourism can’t come soon enough!" she added. </p> <p>“Another moron that should be banned from the island," another commented. </p> <p>“If the government/police were serious, they could slowly improve Mallorca by banning all these types of idiots.”</p> <p>Another local added that tourists would not behave like this at home and that his behaviour displayed a “lack of respect” typical of many tourists.</p> <p>Others were confused about where the holidaymaker was keeping his wallet as it seemed like he only held on to his phone and a red garment. </p> <p>One local even asked why he wasn't arrested, and someone replied:  “Mallorca has some great laws in place. Unfortunately, nobody seems to enforce them.”</p> <p>It is illegal to only wear a bikini or swimming shorts in some public parts of Spain – including the Balearic Islands.</p> <p>Tourists can cop a fine of up to $1000 for wearing swimwear or going shirtless anywhere but the beach. </p> <p>The incident comes after weeks of furious anti-tourist protests, with residents in the Tenerife saying they are “fed-up” of “low quality” Brit tourists who only come for the cheap beer, burgers and sunbathing. </p> <p><em>Image:  Majorca Daily Bulletin</em></p> <p> </p>

Travel Trouble

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Why this iconic view of Mt Fuji is set to be obstructed

<p>One small town in Japan is fed up with disrespectful tourists, and is set to take drastic measures to block an iconic view of My Fuji to deter travellers. </p> <p>Fujikawaguchiko, at the foot of the Yoshida Trail to Mount Fuji, has long been overrun with tourists who are hellbent on getting the perfect picture of the Japanese mountain. </p> <p>Tourists specifically flock to the Lawson convenience store to take their pictures, with the contrast between the busy neon-lit shop and the peaceful mountain behind it making for the perfect holiday snap. </p> <p>However, in recent years since Japan reopened its borders to international tourists after harsh Covid lockdowns, these tourists have had the run of the town, and locals have had enough. </p> <p>To combat the over tourism of the area and deter travellers, local officials of the town are set to erect a giant mesh barrier atop the store, blocking the picture perfect view.</p> <p>One town official said that there have been ongoing problems with tourists leaving trash and not following traffic rules, despite signs and security guards being posted to warn them.</p> <p>"It is regrettable that we had to take such measures," the official said.</p> <p>The net, which measures 2.5 meters high and 20 meters long, will be erected early next week.</p> <p>The crowds plaguing the small town, which is in Yamanashi prefecture, to the north of Fuji and about 100 kilometres west of Tokyo, is just one part of a larger over tourism issue in the whole of Japan. </p> <p>"Overtourism – and all the subsequent consequences like rubbish, rising CO2 emissions and reckless hikers – is the biggest problem facing Mount Fuji," Masatake Izumi, a Yamanashi prefectural government official, <a href="https://www.cnn.com/travel/mount-fuji-overtourism-intl-hnk/index.html">told CNN Travel</a> in 2023.</p> <p>Some locals had even nicknamed the 3,776-meter (12,388-foot) mountain, called Fuji-san in Japanese, "trash mountain."</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p>

International Travel

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Does hosting the Olympics, the World Cup or other major sports events really pay off?

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/ivan-savin-678930">Ivan Savin</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/escp-business-school-813">ESCP Business School</a></em></p> <p>After a long battle, <a href="https://www.france24.com/en/europe/20240213-paris-booksellers-stay-olympics-macron-bouquiniste-france">Paris’s beloved <em>bouquinistes</em> will be staying put</a> this summer. The decision, announced on 13 February by the French government, came after considerable public backlash to the police prefecture’s original plan to move part of the iconic Seine booksellers elsewhere for the inauguration of the Olympics Games on 26 July.</p> <p>Meanwhile, less than six months away from the event, Parisians continue to grumble over a <a href="https://www.ouest-france.fr/jeux-olympiques/cest-aberrant-ce-maire-vient-dapprendre-que-sa-ville-accueillera-les-jeux-de-paris-ab1fa968-cfd1-11ee-89c0-6cefac77e04a">lack of consultations</a> with locals, warnings of <a href="https://www.rfi.fr/en/france/20231130-paris-vehicle-traffic-to-be-heavily-restricted-during-2024-olympic-games">gridlocked traffic</a>, closed metro stations, extensive video surveillance and other grievances. So for host countries, what was the point of the Olympics, again?</p> <p>In academia, the debate about the potential positive and negative effects of large-scale sporting events is ongoing. Although these events are often associated with substantial economic losses, the long-term benefits are the main argument in favour of hosting them. These include the development of material and soft infrastructure such as hotels, restaurants or parks. Big games can also help put the host region on the map as an attractive place for sports and cultural events, and inspire a better entrepreneurial climate.</p> <h2>The pros and the cons of big sporting events?</h2> <p>The cost of these benefits, as the Parisians have realised, is steep. Host countries appear to suffer from increased tax burdens, low returns on public investments, high construction costs, and onerous running cost of facilities after the event. Communities can also be blighted by noise, pollution, and damage to the environment, while increased criminal activity and potential conflicts between locals and visitors can take a toll on their quality of life. As a result, in the recent past several major cities, including Rome and Hamburg, <a href="https://www.dw.com/en/6-cities-that-rejected-the-olympics/a-46289852">withdrew their bids to host the games</a>.</p> <p>A common feature of the economics of large-scale sporting events is that our expectations of them are more optimistic than what we make of them once they have taken place. Typically, expenditure tends to tip over the original budget, while the revenue-side indicators (such as the number of visitors) are rarely achieved.</p> <p>When analysing the effect of hosting large-scale sporting events on tourist visits, it is important to take into consideration both the positive and negative components of the overall effect. While positive effects may be associated with visitors, negative effects may arise when “regular” tourists refuse to visit the location due to the event. This might be because of overloaded infrastructure, sharp increases in accommodation costs, and inconveniences associated with overcrowding or raucous or/and violent visitors. On top of that, reports of poverty or crime in the global media can actually undermine the location’s attractiveness.</p> <h2>When big sporting events crowd out regular tourists</h2> <p>In an <a href="https://doi.org/10.1177/1527002523120639">article published in the <em>Journal of Sports Economics</em></a> with Igor Drapkin and Ilya Zverev, I assess the effects of hosting large-scale sporting events, such as Winter and Summer Olympics plus FIFA World Cups, on international tourist visits. We utilise a comprehensive dataset on flow of tourists covering the world’s largest destination and origin countries between 1995 and 2019. As a first step, we built an econometric model that effectively predicts the flow of tourists between any pair of countries in our data. Subsequently we compared the predicted tourist inflow in a hypothetical scenario where no large-scale sporting event would have taken place with the actual figures. If the actual figures exceed the predicted ones, we consider the event to have a net positive impact. Otherwise, we consider that it had a “crowding out” effect on “regular” tourists. While conducting this analysis, we distinguished between short-term (i.e., focusing just on the year of the event) and mid-term (year of the event plus three subsequent years).</p> <p>Our results show that the effects of large-scale sporting events vary a lot across host countries: The World Cup in Japan and South Korea 2002 and South Africa 2010 were associated with a distinct increase in tourist arrivals, whereas all other World Cups were either neutral or negative. Among the Summer Olympics, China in 2008 is the only case with a significant positive effect on tourist inflows. The effects of the other four events (Australia 2000, Greece 2004, Great Britain 2012, and Brazil 2016) were found to be negative in the short- and medium-term. As for the Winter Olympics, the only positive case is Russia in 2014. The remaining five events had a negative impact except the one-year neutral effect for Japan 1998.</p> <p>Following large-scale sporting events, host countries are therefore typically less visited by tourists. Out of the 18 hosting countries studied, 11 saw tourist numbers decline over four years, and three did not experience a significant change.</p> <h2>The case for cautious optimism</h2> <p>Our research indicates that the positive effect of hosting large-scale sporting events on tourist inflows is, at best, moderate. While many tourists are attracted by FIFA World Cups and Olympic games, the crowding-out effect of “regular” tourists is strong and often underestimated. This implies that tourists visiting for an event like the Olympics typically dissuade those who would have come for other reasons. Thus, efforts to attract new visitors should be accompanied by efforts to retain the already existing ones.</p> <p>Large-scale sporting events should be considered as part of a long-term policy for promoting a territory to tourists rather than a standalone solution. Revealingly, our results indicate that it is easier to get a net increase in tourist inflows in countries that are less frequent destinations for tourists – for example, those in Asia or Africa. By contrast, the United States and Europe, both of which are traditionally popular with tourists, have no single case of a net positive effect. Put differently, the large-scale sporting events in Asia and Africa helped promote their host countries as tourist destinations, making the case for the initial investment. In the US and Europe, however, those in the last few decades brought little return, at least in terms of tourist inflow.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/222118/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/ivan-savin-678930">Ivan Savin</a>, Associate professor of quantitative analytics, research fellow at ICTA-UAB, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/escp-business-school-813">ESCP Business School</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/does-hosting-the-olympics-the-world-cup-or-other-major-sports-events-really-pay-off-222118">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Travel Tips

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Tourist slapped with $225k bill after simple mistake

<p>An American tourist has revealed the moment he was charged with a $US143k (AU$225k) bill after a short holiday to Switzerland. </p> <p>Rene Remund and his wife Linda went on the trip last September.</p> <p>Prior to their travels, Remund made sure to inform his mobile phone provider, T-Mobile, that he was going overseas and as a customer of 30 years, he was told he was “covered”.</p> <p>So, with no worries at all, the tourist shared photos of his moments in the Swiss countryside with friends and family via photo messages. </p> <p>Imagine his surprise when he came home to a six-figure bill, after he racked up thousands and thousands of dollars in daily roaming costs. </p> <p>“I get this T-Mobile bill and it doesn’t bother me very much because I was reading $143,” he explained, adding it wasn’t until he went to pay the bill that he realised a few more zeros were involved.</p> <p>“I look at the bill and I say, ‘excuse me’,” he said.</p> <p>“$143,000 … are you guys crazy?”</p> <p>According to the bill, Remund had racked up 9.5 gigabytes of data while in Europe, which cost him thousands of dollars each day. While it wasn't a huge amount of data, not being covered by roaming fees will cause a user to run up a huge bill very quickly. </p> <p>“I called [T-Mobile] and the girl put me on hold for a while,” he explained.</p> <p>“She said let me check this out and I’ll get back to you. She gets back and says, yeah this is a good bill.</p> <p>“I said, ‘what do you mean it’s a good bill?’ And she says ‘well, this is what you owe’.</p> <p>“I said ‘you’re kidding me … you’re crazy’.”</p> <p>After confirming that his bill was in fact  AU$225,000, Remund hired a lawyer to argue the fact that he was covered for international roaming. </p> <p>His lawyer issued a letter to the president of T-Mobile, and they only received a reply a few days ago. </p> <p>The letter from T-Mobile allegedly said that the service provider was “sorry” for the charges, and that Remund would receive a “credit” to eliminate the entire bill. </p> <p>In an email shared to local media <em>Scripps News Tampa</em>, the mobile phone provider said that customers should always “check the travel features of their plan, such as international data roaming, before departing”.</p> <p>“If a customer is on an older plan that doesn’t include international roaming for data and calling, they’ll need to make sure they’re using aeroplane mode and wi-fi when using data to be certain the device doesn’t connect to an international network.”</p> <p><em style="box-sizing: inherit; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-size: 16px; vertical-align: baseline; color: #323338; font-family: Figtree, Roboto, 'Noto Sans Hebrew', 'Noto Kufi Arabic', 'Noto Sans JP', sans-serif; background-color: #ffffff; outline: none !important;">Images: ABC Action News</em></p> <p> </p>

Travel Trouble

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Elephant tourism often involves cruelty – here are steps toward more humane, animal-friendly excursions

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/michelle-szydlowski-1495781">Michelle Szydlowski</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/miami-university-1934">Miami University</a></em></p> <p>Suju Kali is a 50-year-old elephant in Nepal who has been carrying tourists for over 30 years. Like many elephants I encounter through my <a href="https://doi.org/10.1080/10888705.2022.2028628">research</a>, Suju Kali exhibits anxiety and can be aggressive toward strangers. She suffers from emotional trauma as a result of prolonged, commercial human contact.</p> <p>Like Suju Kali, many animals are trapped within the tourism industry. Some venues have no oversight and little concern for animal or tourist safety. Between 120,000 and 340,000 animals are used globally in a variety of wildlife tourism attractions, including <a href="https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0138939">endangered species</a> like elephants. Over a quarter of the world’s <a href="https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/7140/45818198">endangered elephants</a> reside in captivity with little oversight.</p> <p>Wildlife tourism – which involves viewing wildlife such as primates or birds in conservation areas, feeding or touching captive or “rehabilitated” wildlife in facilities, and bathing or riding animals like elephants – is <a href="https://doi.org/10.1080/14724049.2022.2156523">tricky business</a>. I know this because I am <a href="https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=YbweA2MAAAAJ&amp;hl=en">a researcher studying human relationships with elephants</a> in both tourism and conservation settings within Southeast Asia.</p> <p>These types of experiences have long been an <a href="https://kathmandupost.com/money/2021/06/17/tourism-is-nepal-s-fourth-largest-industry-by-employment-study">extremely popular and profitable</a> part of the <a href="https://journals.plos.org/plosbiology/article?id=10.1371/journal.pbio.1002074">tourism market</a>. But now, many travel-related organizations are urging people not to participate in, or <a href="https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/destinations/2018/04/27/animal-welfare-travelers-how-enjoy-wildlife-without-harming/544938002/">calling for an outright ban on, interactive wildlife experiences</a>.</p> <p>Tourism vendors have started marketing more “ethical options” for consumers. Some are attempting to truly improve the health and welfare of wildlife, and some are transitioning captive wildlife into touch-free, non-riding or lower-stress environments. In other places, organizations are attempting to <a href="https://www.fao.org/documents/card/es/c/b2c5dad0-b9b9-5a3d-a720-20bf3b9f0dc2/">implement standards of care</a> or create manuals that outline good practices for animal husbandry.</p> <p>This marketing, academics argue, is often simply “<a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gecco.2017.11.007">greenwashing</a>,” <a href="http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13683500.2023.2280704">applying marketing labels to make consumers feel better</a> about their choices without making any real changes. Worse, research shows that some programs marketing themselves as ethical tourism may instead be widening economic gaps and harming both humans and other species that they are meant to protect.</p> <h2>No quick fix</h2> <p>For example, rather than tourist dollars trickling down to local struggling families as intended by local governments, many tourism venues are owned by nonresidents, <a href="http://dx.doi.org/10.3126/japfcsc.v2i1.26746">meaning the profits do not stay in the area</a>. Likewise, only a small number of residents can afford to own tourism venues, and venues do not provide employment for locals from lower income groups.</p> <p>This economic gap is especially obvious in Nepalese elephant stables: Venue owners continue to make money off elephants, while elephant caregivers continue to work 17 hours a day for about US$21 a month; tourists are led to believe they are “<a href="https://www.cabidigitallibrary.org/doi/book/10.1079/9781800624498.0000">promoting sustainability</a>.”</p> <p>Yet, there are no easy answers, especially for elephants working in tourism. Moving them to sanctuaries is difficult because with no governmental or global welfare oversight, elephants may end up in worse conditions.</p> <p>Many kindhearted souls who want to “help” elephants know little about their biology and mental health needs, or what it takes to keep them healthy. Also, feeding large animals like Suju Kali is pricey, <a href="https://doi.org/10.3390/ani14010171">costing around $19,000 yearly</a>. So without profits from riding or other income, owners – or would-be rescuers – can’t maintain elephants. Releasing captive elephants to the jungle is not a choice – many have never learned to live in the wild, so they cannot survive on their own.</p> <h2>Hurting local people</h2> <p>Part of the problem lies with governments, as many have marketed tourism as a way to fund conservation projects. For example in Nepal, a percentage of ticket sales from elephant rides are given to community groups to use for forest preservation and support for local families.</p> <p>Increasing demand for <a href="https://www.routledge.com/Tourism-and-Animal-Ethics/Fennell/p/book/9781032431826">wildlife-based tourism</a> may increase traffic in the area and thus put pressure on local governments to further limit local people’s access to forest resources.</p> <p>This may also lead to <a href="https://www.worldanimalprotection.org/latest/news/un-world-tourism-organisation-urged-create-better-future-animals/">increased demands on local communities</a>, as was the case in Nepal. In the 1970s, the Nepalese government removed local people from their lands in what is now Chitwan National Park as part of increasing “conservation efforts” and changed the protected area’s boundaries. Indigenous “Tharu,” or people of the forest, were forced to abandon their villages and land. While some were offered access to “buffer zones” in the 1990s, many remain poor and landless today.</p> <p>In addition, more and more desirable land surrounding conservation areas in Nepal is being developed for tourist-based businesses such as hotels, restaurants and shops, <a href="http://dx.doi.org/10.3126/japfcsc.v2i1.26746">pushing local poor people farther away</a> from central village areas and the associated tourism income.</p> <p>Some activists would like humans to simply release all wildlife back into the wild, but <a href="https://www.cabidigitallibrary.org/doi/book/10.1079/9781800624498.0000">there are multiple issues</a> with that. Elephant habitats throughout Southeast Asia have been transformed into croplands, cities or train tracks for human use. Other problems arise from the fact that tourism elephants have <a href="https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315457413">never learned</a> how to be elephants in their natural elements, as they were <a href="https://www.pugetsound.edu/sites/default/files/file/8342_Journal%20of%20Tourism%20%282009%29_0.pdf">separated from their herds</a> at an early age.</p> <p>So tourism may be vital to providing food, care and shelter to captive elephants for the rest of their lives and providing jobs for those who really need them. Because elephants can live beyond 60 years, this can be a large commitment.</p> <h2>How to be an ethical tourist</h2> <p>To protect elephants, tourists should check out reviews and photos from any venue they want to visit, and look for clues that animal welfare might be impacted, such as tourists allowed to feed, hold or ride captive wildlife animals. Look for healthy animals, which means doing research on what “healthy” animals of that species should look like.</p> <p>If a venue lists no-touch demonstrations – “unnatural” behaviors that don’t mimic what an elephant might do of their own accord, such as sitting on a ball or riding a bike, or other performances – remember that the behind-the-scenes training used to achieve these behaviors can be <a href="https://doi.org/10.21832/9781845415051-014">violent, traumatic or coercive</a>.</p> <p>Another way to help people and elephant is to to use small, local companies to book your adventures in your area of interest, rather than paying large, international tourism agencies. Look for locally owned hotels, and wait to book excursions until you arrive so you can use local service providers. Book homestay programs and attend cultural events led by community members; talk to tourists and locals you meet in the target town to get their opinions, and use local guides who provide wildlife viewing opportunities <a href="https://nepaldynamicecotours.com/">while maintaining distance from animals</a>.</p> <p>Or tourists can ask to visit <a href="https://www.americanhumane.org/press-release/global-humane-launches-humane-tourism-certification-program/">venues that are certified</a> by international humane animal organizations and that <a href="https://www.su4e.org/">do not allow contact</a> with wildlife. Or they can opt for guided hikes, canoe or kayak experiences, and other environmentally friendly options.</p> <p>While these suggestions will not guarantee that your excursion is animal-friendly, they will help decrease your impact on wildlife, support local families and encourage venues to stop using elephants as entertainment. Those are good first steps.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/219792/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/michelle-szydlowski-1495781">Michelle Szydlowski</a>, Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of Biology, Project Dragonfly, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/miami-university-1934">Miami University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/elephant-tourism-often-involves-cruelty-here-are-steps-toward-more-humane-animal-friendly-excursions-219792">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Travel Tips

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Survey unveils Aussies thoughts on tourism tax

<p>Earlier this year, Bali launched a controversial tourism tax, which meant that every traveller entering the island would have to pay a $15 fee, which the Indonesian province have said will be used for environmental and cultural projects. </p> <p>Now, Aussies have shared their thoughts on introducing a similar system here, and survey results have revealed that many are keen for the tourism tax to be introduced here. </p> <p>Travel provider InsureandGo conducted the survey and found that 60 per cent of Australians would support the government introducing a tax to combat the rising environmental toll of tourism.</p> <p>"Tourist taxes are a relatively new concept, but as travel demand swells, we are seeing more countries adopt the levy," InsureandGo Chief Commercial Officer Jonathan Etkind said. </p> <p>"What's heartening is that only a minority of 37 per cent of respondents don't support tourism taxes, demonstrating just how many Australians support the concept of sustainable travel."</p> <p>The response comes amid increased sustainability concerns on our flora and fauna, which are being threatened by over-tourism. </p> <p>The tax is particularly supported by younger Aussies aged between 18 to 30, with 73 per cent of them saying yes to tourism taxes. </p> <p>Etkind said that this may be because younger Aussies are typically more aware of the environmental impacts of travel compared to the older generation, who may be less accustomed to the tax. </p> <p>Along with Bali, other cities and countries have started introducing similar fees to combat overtourism,  with Venice set to charge day-trippers a fee of 5 Euros ($8.20) per visit. </p> <p>Amsterdam, Netherlands has the highest tourism tax in Europe, with the former 7 per cent hotel tourist levy rising to 12.5 per cent this year. </p> <p>New Zealand also charges international visitors excluding Aussie citizens and permanent residents $25 levy ($32.64 AUD) to address the challenges created by tourism in its conservation areas. </p> <p><em>Image: Getty</em></p>

International Travel

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Selfies and social media: how tourists indulge their influencer fantasies

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/brendan-canavan-228682">Brendan Canavan</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-nottingham-1192">University of Nottingham</a></em></p> <p>A town in the US state of Vermont <a href="https://www.nbcnews.com/news/vermont-town-banning-influencers-tourists-visiting-fall-foliage-rcna117413">closed its roads to tourists</a> in September 2023 after a social media tag sparked a swarm of visitors that overwhelmed the rural destination.</p> <p>Videos on TikTok were seen by thousands and the hashtag #sleepyhollowfarm went viral, prompting a tourist rush to the pretty New England town of Pomfret, where visitors tried to take photos of themselves against the countryside backdrop. The town, famous for its fall foliage, criticised this as problematic and “influencer tourism”, part of <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160738320300426">a travel trend</a> where a social media phenomenon can spark an overwhelming and unexpected rise in visitor numbers.</p> <p><a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/0002764292036002005?casa_token=gQo4-8jeYdIAAAAA:Oq3Nf5gTtAFK7N00D1NgPO7_zl9ONlOEnzFZnojX6fX1nKXQWJZ4ERn52MlV3abn4fDN4_C4hJjq">Traditionally</a>, we think of tourists as travelling to gain new experiences. They look at sites, take photographs and collect souvenirs. However, this relationship between the tourist and touring is changing.</p> <p>Driven by <a href="https://www.dw.com/en/how-instagram-changed-the-tourism-industry/a-65348690">24-hour access to social media</a>, some tourists now travel primarily to have an experience that <a href="https://www.americanexpress.com/en-us/travel/discover/get-inspired/Global-Travel-Trends">looks good online</a>. Around 75% of people in a recent American Express survey said they had been inspired to visit somewhere by social media. Some tourists may be prompted to choose a destination by seeing a <a href="https://www.elle.com/culture/travel-food/a27561982/best-instagram-spots/">backdrop that is popular on social media or on television</a>, in order to create a high-status photo.</p> <p>The expansion of social media and ubiquity of smartphone cameras has had a <a href="https://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/13/13/7312">major impact on tourists’ behaviour</a>. This has also led to what’s been called a <a href="https://www.traveldailynews.com/column/articles/who-are-the-selfie-gaze-tourists/">selfie “tourist gaze”</a>, creating photos where the traveller is at the forefront of images rather than the destination.</p> <p>Indeed, according to my research, increasingly, some tourists go somewhere <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160738320300426">to be spotted</a> – to be observed by others both online and in person at these destinations.</p> <h2>Looking for drama</h2> <p>Studies have highlighted how tourists <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0261517715300388?casa_token=W51WkDKJSK8AAAAA:DG99dEWkyYKWIe6hNcLXR4KRApXV24QksHIzrRNcjVY3FngukDgIv9HLHG4o3NV4rqNJtdet">head for</a> particularly dramatic or luxurious destinations because of their social media links. Dubai, for example, with its bling culture and high-end shopping, has become a <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/apr/17/in-this-world-social-media-is-everything-how-dubai-became-the-planets-influencer-capital">playground for influencers</a> looking for a luxury backdrop to add to their celebrity-style image.</p> <p>Some tourists aim to photograph themselves in prestigious locations, rather than taking shots of their <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/13567667221113079?casa_token=xbdUjWECQvMAAAAA:mc4rqleOqgjazW9DAYduW7LaPTu4KEw1DIfbPbWF0vl0efwNPC_GQ0U-HjltguwsIsCoO4ycXgyW7Q">travel surroundings</a>. Others choose to <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160738320300426">act like mini-celebrities</a> and perform for the camera, expecting and wanting to be looked at by those they encounter – or even narrating their participation in extreme events.</p> <p>One of these is the <a href="https://www.theadventurists.com/rickshaw-run/">Rickshaw Run</a>, a 2,000km race across India. This adventure tourism event encourages participants to dress up, act eccentrically and get noticed. Driving tuk-tuks around India, from Kerala to Darjeeling, vehicles are personalised with eye-catching designs. Many participants film themselves and <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2p3wd0ii2oQ">upload the results</a> to social media, and the events tend to create a significant following. For instance, this YouTube video series created by Rickshaw Run participants drew 3.6m subscribers:</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/2p3wd0ii2oQ?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe><figcaption><span class="caption">Taking part in the Rickshaw Run.</span></figcaption></figure> <p>However, some of these tourist “performances” can cause controversy. For instance, <a href="https://www.nzherald.co.nz/travel/mexico-tourist-beaten-with-stick-for-climbing-chichen-itza-pyramid/EL5KGLB4CNC5ZONNZCKAMX3LLE/">climbing over</a> fragile archaeological sites in search of social media content might damage them. <a href="https://www.unilad.com/news/russian-tourist-deported-nude-photo-bali-064402-20230330">Posing for laughs</a> in areas considered sacred can offend. The reducing of cultures to <a href="https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/selfie-tourists-get-up-easter-islanders-noses-sgfxdtkj7">backdrops for social media content</a> can suggest a lack of interest in or respect for hosts by tourists.</p> <p>My research points to a growth in <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/09669582.2016.1263309">narcissism in society</a>, and connects this with what tourists desire from travel and how they act when travelling. This may be reflected in increased sense of entitlement and exhibitionism by tourists who aim to take photos in more difficult to reach locations or off-limit areas, for instance.</p> <p>Selfie culture arguably promotes <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/09528822.2015.1082339?casa_token=tbsXw1drBAEAAAAA:qfSfJBbHWi3x8MSVeoyHBIceP7W_8C55rVctylf-2zRBzx-aG_EeFwvTmHHsOdjQpMd8LVaUrjSo">self-involvement rather than social responsibility</a>. It is well established that tourists <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/1368350050408668198?casa_token=K4p5aZCN8t4AAAAA:96p7f3qNu2WndpE-C-D0rs5mJaOlnJ5F6P4iXQlWQopseMGWuJ_5TiaFmRggxFsEjrMCoAr14Kn4">can be selfish</a>, putting their own comfort and entertainment ahead of concerns about local issues. This is especially true of the super-rich. Private jet users <a href="https://www.transportenvironment.org/discover/private-jets-can-the-super-rich-supercharge-zero-emission-aviation/">are responsible for</a> half of global aviation emissions.</p> <p>However, the desire to promote the individual and their values could be <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/09669582.2016.1263309">harnessed to promote</a> more sustainable tourism. Those volunteering abroad might be motivated by the image enhancement opportunities of doing good, but they often offer something back to the social and natural environments of <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/09669580903395030?casa_token=NvJorz8d1F4AAAAA:AXXTdW7ePimqFkWNg1W5w8umGCBwXIjus0WICRIoNZH_gsdr1hHomvMAQV21PYA2HkLwBGsO_Qus8g">their host destinations</a> in the process.</p> <p>There are signs that there’s another tourism trend, with travellers looking for deep and meaningful experiences, and ecotourism could help provide those. The act of travelling in a <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09669582.2020.1825458">more environmentally friendly way</a> could also be seen as a way to show off, and still provide selfie material.</p> <p>The environmental pros and cons of tourist self-obsession might be <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/09669582.2016.1263309">debatable</a>. However, self-fixation is arguably not good for tourists themselves. For example, the desire to “perform” on camera could affect people’s mental health, according to one <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/10253866.2018.1467318?casa_token=wI7sETKEKJAAAAAA:ebds6fykbyHAGSXIk9iv6-tyziFSIvganp32S65hiX8KeWlaQDwhPxF_2tWEgkNqssqd-SCE-w_3Eg">study</a>.</p> <p>Research has shown that <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14616688.2012.762691?casa_token=Jb9SzAGXBD0AAAAA:L5Q-HhPs9jWtfm0Zq4nB0uFHrZ3W8N7o1Liq0KAIRqC4ivEhKyEexEZN-ACoz1qzm7CMqD96zXOm">unexpected encounters help tourists to gain self-insight</a>. In addition, getting out of your comfort zone can lead to <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2213078020300074?casa_token=MkMbkdyr_cMAAAAA:LLu44kUbbsP5e-iW-kDdI7iSEo3WkLgH5IvKqb2txZA504q74J4OAhTuXIx8m90oDMSvuiq4Mg">rewarding personal growth</a>.</p> <h2>A disconnect between self and place</h2> <p>Taking yet more selfies could cut people off from their surroundings. In doing so, they could be <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S016073831730097X?casa_token=tOaqrhfVQ-wAAAAA:uxb7djQMWjifvjjgPMZzbq2IQqlgoaGHzWoJkkGbQYQqkbZoeuOqLD91zqwBuWs1SfY7dcK4">less present in the travel experience itself</a>. Indeed, the <a href="https://english.elpais.com/usa/2021-10-29/rise-of-selfie-deaths-leads-experts-to-talk-about-a-public-health-problem.html">growing number</a> of <a href="https://edition.cnn.com/2019/11/15/asia/french-man-selfie-death-intl-scli/index.html">selfie-related tourist deaths</a> might attest to a disconnect between self and place. A <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6131996/#:%7E:text=selfie-related%20deaths.-,From%20October%202011%20to%20November%202017%2C%20there%20have%20been%20259,respectively%2C%20in%202016%20and%202017">2018 report</a> estimated 259 deaths to have occurred while taking selfies between 2011-2017.</p> <p>Other research suggests that individuals who are motivated by the desire to present a particular online image may be <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2211973620301458?casa_token=-HkTUB7WC7cAAAAA:455BE0L2jP-CL1nD18__Ey3fj5GsLmYfKL_EB_P7IWa7lDddpJYIW3UIo5fUjg68e7Nvm7PUlTA#s0050">more likely to take risks</a> with their travel selfies, with potentially fatal consequences.</p> <p>Tourists have always been somewhat self-obsessed. The 18th-century <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0160738385900027">Grand Tour</a>, a leisurely trip around Europe, allowed the wealthy to <a href="https://www.historyhit.com/what-was-the-grand-tour/">indulge themselves</a> in <a href="https://www.salon.com/2002/05/31/sultry/">ways</a> that might not have been socially acceptable back home. And at the beginning of the 21st century, <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160738301000305?casa_token=C5eb2NJQvGsAAAAA:YrdY-xjJwBrUE9RjwyOJ3kRBS4-o7e5Jni5sluTCuZOrgnCULybO8EgJtQqsuSL7B5nZJwiH3Q#BIB37">academics worried about</a> self-involved backpacker communities in southeast Asia having little interest in mixing with local people.</p> <p>What is different about smartphones and social media is that these allow some tourists to present such self-indulgent, and sometimes insensitive, tourism traits immediately. Wifi and mobile data mean that these tourists can travel with one eye on finding the perfect selfie backdrop – filtering and sharing their travel as it happens, responding to likes and comments.</p> <p>For better or worse, living this influencer fantasy may have become an integral part of tourism for some time.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/214681/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/brendan-canavan-228682"><em>Brendan Canavan</em></a><em>, Senior Lecturer in Marketing, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-nottingham-1192">University of Nottingham</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/selfies-and-social-media-how-tourists-indulge-their-influencer-fantasies-214681">original article</a>.</em></p>

Travel Trouble

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Everything you need to know before you travel to Vietnam

<p dir="ltr">So you’ve booked your flight to Vietnam to experience the best of south-east Asia. </p> <p dir="ltr">When travelling to Vietnam, and other Asian countries, there are a handful of tips and tricks to be aware of to ensure you have a smooth sailing travel experience. </p> <p dir="ltr">In comparison to travelling around Western countries, exploring Vietnam comes with a unique set of circumstances, and being prepared for every situation will make sure your trip is one to remember. </p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Cash is king</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">When it comes to planning your trip to Vietnam, other than booking your flights, hotels and travel insurance, one of your first priorities should be getting your hands on cash. </p> <p dir="ltr">The Vietnamese Dong is a unique currency to get used to, given that $5 AUD is equal to approximately $82,000 VND. </p> <p dir="ltr">Most of the restaurants, cafes and tourist attractions you’ll be heading to will only accept cash, so make sure you seek out an ATM (most ATMs will let you translate to English) and always have a decent amount of cash on hand. </p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Go off the beaten track </strong></p> <p dir="ltr">Vietnam has so much more to offer than the major cities. </p> <p dir="ltr">While Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City have a lot of interesting history, tourist attractions and unique cultural experiences, staying in these cities for the entirety of your Vietnam trip is limiting. </p> <p dir="ltr">Make sure you explore coastal towns such as Hoi An, Hue and Phu Quoc, explore the rolling rice fields of Sapa, and don’t forget to book your cruise around the picturesque Ha Long Bay. </p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Don't be afraid of the food </strong></p> <p dir="ltr">While Vietnamese food is maybe not what you’re used to eating everyday, part of experiencing a different culture is immersing yourself in the food scene. </p> <p dir="ltr">One of the best things you can do when you arrive at your destination is to book a food tour with a local guide (there are many available through TripAdvisor), to take you around and show you a variety of dishes to become accustomed to. </p> <p dir="ltr">Your food tour guide will also help ease your anxiety over ordering food in different places. </p> <p dir="ltr">Another top tip: Restaurants will often be called the name of the dishes they serve. For example, places that sell the delicious Bahn Mi bread rolls will have “Bahn Mi” in their name. </p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Google Translate is your friend </strong></p> <p dir="ltr">While your hotel staff will often speak good English, other vendors at restaurants or markets may not be as fluent. </p> <p dir="ltr">Downloading the Google Translate app on your phone will allow you to communicate with locals quickly and easily, by typing in what you want to say in English, and letting the app read out the sentence in Vietnamese. </p> <p dir="ltr">Also, the app’s camera feature lets you hover your smartphone camera over something written in Vietnamese, before translating it into English in seconds. </p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Beware of scams</strong> </p> <p dir="ltr">One of the most common scams in Vietnam is taxi scams. Some people will claim to be a taxi and then jack up the prices once they take you to your destination. </p> <p dir="ltr">To avoid this, only get in registered taxis (that actually look like taxis and not just a random car), and download Grab, which is the Vietnamese version of Uber and is just as easy to use. </p> <p dir="ltr">Another common scam is for market vendors to hike up prices for food and souvenirs, so be ready to barter for a better price. </p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Make friends with the locals </strong></p> <p dir="ltr">The Vietnamese people are some of the loveliest, kindest and most accommodating in the world. </p> <p dir="ltr">People on the street, hotel staff and restaurant workers are always happy to help you with queries or concerns, so make the most of their local knowledge and don’t be afraid to approach people with a smile. </p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p>

International Travel

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Does British tourism really need the royal family?

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/ross-bennett-cook-1301368">Ross Bennett-Cook</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-westminster-916">University of Westminster</a></em></p> <p>Love them or loathe them, the royal family are up there with red telephone boxes and scones when it comes to images of Britishness. Souvenir shops are full of their faces, newspapers across the world discuss them, and <a href="https://www.euronews.com/culture/2022/09/13/netflixs-the-crown-skyrockets-in-popularity-following-the-queens-death">television dramas</a> based on their lives have never been more popular.</p> <p>Whenever people are critical of the royal family, the oft-repeated retort is “but think of the tourism!”. This has been particularly common rhetoric recently, as <a href="https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/royal-family/who-paid-for-coronation-b2334669.html">many people question</a> how a country facing mass strikes and a crippling cost of living crisis can afford the estimated <a href="https://www.lbc.co.uk/news/explained/how-much-king-charles-iii-coronation-cost-who-pays-for-it/">£100 million</a> cost of King Charles III’s coronation.</p> <p>In a recent <a href="https://yougov.co.uk/topics/arts/survey-results/daily/2023/04/18/25178/3">YouGov poll</a>, 51% did not believe the coronation should be paid for by taxpayers. For young people, this figure was even higher, at 62%. But supporters will often use <a href="https://www.independent.co.uk/news/charles-iii-ap-coronation-buckingham-palace-elizabeth-ii-b2326220.html">tourism</a> as justification for lavish expenses.</p> <p>The royal family does bring tourism to the UK. The economic consultancy Centre for Economics and Business Research <a href="https://cebr.com/reports/uk-economy-raises-a-glass-to-337-million-coronation-boost-from-tourism-and-pub-activity/">estimated</a> that the coronation weekend would lead to a £337 million boost from tourism and pub spending.</p> <p>But if the royal family were to disappear, would the UK’s tourism industry suddenly implode?</p> <p>2011 research by <a href="https://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/ukgwa/20140722183820/http://www.visitbritain.org/mediaroom/archive/2011/vbrwwedding.aspx">Visit Britain</a> found that around 60% of tourists to the UK are likely to visit places associated with the royal family. While there is no more recent specifically royal data, in 2022 Visit Britain found that history and heritage was the biggest <a href="https://www.visitbritain.org/MIDAS-research-project">pull factor to tourists</a>.</p> <p>And while the <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/1468797606071477">international perception</a> of Britain is certainly intertwined with the royal family, this does not tell us whether a reigning royal family is necessary for tourism. After all, the history surrounding the monarchy and places associated with them would still be here even if the royal family was not. Ottoman palaces of Istanbul remain <a href="https://edition.cnn.com/travel/article/most-visited-castles-palaces/index.html">wildly popular</a> attractions 100 years since the collapse of the caliphate, as are the royal châteaus of France or imperial palaces of China.</p> <p>Lack of royalty does not seem to have affected these countries’ appeal, each of which attract <a href="https://www.e-unwto.org/doi/epdf/10.18111/wtobarometereng.2020.18.1.7">more tourists</a> annually than the UK.</p> <h2>A special relationship</h2> <p>The USA is the UK’s <a href="https://www.visitbritain.org/inbound-tourism-trends-old">largest tourist market</a>, and <a href="https://www.telegraph.co.uk/royal-family/2023/05/05/coronation-american-tourists-britain-boom-royal-family-usa/">American tourists</a> do seem to be very fond of things associated with British royalty.</p> <p>But this may change with the new monarch. In a <a href="https://today.yougov.com/topics/entertainment/articles-reports/2021/02/17/british-royals-popular-america-poll">poll taken in February 2021</a>, before the death of Queen Elizabeth II, a whopping 68% of Americans viewed her favourably. The same poll found only 34% had a favourable opinion of Charles – but this has changed in his favour following his accession to the throne, according to a <a href="https://today.yougov.com/topics/international/articles-reports/2023/05/05/americans-think-british-royal-family-charles">poll taken before the coronation</a> which gave him a 50% approval rating in the US. That said, 62% of people in the US said they did not care about the coronation very much or at all.</p> <p>Outside America, the UK’s next largest tourist groups have significantly less interest in the royal family. The holiday firm <a href="https://www.traveldailymedia.com/study-reveals-importance-of-royal-family-to-uk-tourism-industry/">Travelzoo</a> found in 2016 that just 19% of German, 15% of French and only 10% of Spanish travellers want to come to the UK because of the British monarchy.</p> <h2>Where do tourists go?</h2> <p>Typically, when commentators discuss the royal contributions to tourism, they talk about significant events such as weddings, jubilees, coronations and funerals. Even though these events attract huge crowds, they happen rarely and are unrepresentative of the tourism industry as a whole. Research <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/13548166211004361">has found</a> that royal weddings massively improve a country’s image and brand awareness, but are not comparable to major mega events such as the Fifa World Cup, the Super Bowl or the Olympics.</p> <p>Even though royal places are popular, they are far from our most popular attractions. Of Britain’s <a href="https://www.visitbritain.org/annual-survey-visits-visitor-attractions-latest-results">ten most visited</a> free and paid-for attractions in 2021, none were royal attractions. The <a href="https://www.visitbritain.org/sites/default/files/vb-corporate/top_20_listings.pdf">highest ranking</a> royal attraction was the Tower of London, making only 17th on the list.</p> <p>Typically, Chester Zoo attracts more visitors than Windsor Castle or Buckingham Palace, although these statistics do not differentiate between domestic and international tourists. In the most recent <a href="https://www.windsor.gov.uk/dbimgs/Windsor%202017%20Visitor%20Survey%20final%20report%2028_11_17.pdf">Windsor visitor survey</a>, the majority of its tourists came from overseas.</p> <p>Anti-monarchy group <a href="https://www.republic.org.uk/tourism">Republic</a> has disputed the widely cited figure that the monarchy generates £500 million in tourism income for the UK annually – which itself would be only a small fraction of Britain’s £127 billion tourism economy.</p> <p>The group also questions why royalty <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9hL9yDOK48A">barely feature</a> on British tourism campaigns or advertisements, if they are so vital to the tourism economy.</p> <p>It is impossible to deny that royalty adds to the UK’s appeal as a tourist destination – the history and associated heritage is famous worldwide. However, what is questionable is whether a reigning monarchy is necessary for this attractiveness to continue.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/205158/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/ross-bennett-cook-1301368"><em>Ross Bennett-Cook</em></a><em>, Visiting Lecturer, School of Architecture + Cities, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-westminster-916">University of Westminster</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/does-british-tourism-really-need-the-royal-family-205158">original article</a>.</em></p>

International Travel

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Sustainable tourism needs to be built with the help of locals

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/alfonso-vargas-sanchez-1205745">Alfonso Vargas Sánchez</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/universidad-de-huelva-3977">Universidad de Huelva</a></em></p> <p>In the wake of the pandemic, tourism is experiencing a period of transition in which <a href="https://theconversation.com/el-futuro-del-turismo-inteligente-digital-y-sostenible-153965">two trends</a> which were already prevalent pre Covid-19 have gained momentum:</p> <ul> <li> <p>Sustainability, together with climate change, the circular economy and the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN’s 2030 Agenda.</p> </li> <li> <p>Digitalization, together with the new technological revolution.</p> </li> </ul> <p>If we focus on sustainability – whilst still emphasizing that technological ecosystems are essential for the development of tourism – we have to be aware that making sustainable that which has not been designed as such (a destination, a resort, a mode of transport, etc.) is not easy, fast or affordable. This is especially true since, rather than conforming to standards, labels or certifications, we must change our relationship with the environment in order to be sustainable, rather than just appearing to be so.</p> <h2>Sustainability must be economical, environmental and social</h2> <p>When a term is used so frequently, its meaning tends to become diluted. In fact, in this case, the term sustainable tourism is increasingly being replaced by regenerative tourism.</p> <p><a href="https://doughnuteconomics.org/">Not all aspects of sustainability</a> are addressed with equal emphasis. Economic sustainability is taken for granted and environmental sustainability is taken into immediate consideration, while social sustainability is put on the back burner (see, among many others, <a href="https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/is-the-party-over-in-the-balearics-b9qw9j7qp">the case of Ibiza and the cost of housing</a>).</p> <p>If there is to be true social sustainability, which in turn drives economic and environmental sustainability, the governance of tourism has to evolve.</p> <p>Before the pandemic, and in the post-pandemic period, news related to the sustainability of tourism appeared in the media.</p> <p>Negative attitudes towards tourism are once again prevalent, although in reality these are not directed against tourism itself but against certain models of tourism development, the product of a certain governance where it is important to take a look at who makes decisions and how.</p> <p>More than a one-off phenomenon, the problem of mass tourism is being tackled with various types of measures, such as the following:</p> <ul> <li> <p>The use of fiscal measures(e.g. <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Environmental_tax">ecotaxes</a>).</p> </li> <li> <p>Limiting the capacity of certain spaces (or even temporarily closing them).</p> </li> <li> <p>The use of the variable prices to regulate demand.</p> </li> <li> <p>The use of technological tools that assist in redirecting tourist flows, in an attempt to disperse the masses to other attractions that are not overcrowded (assuming that those affected wish to do so).</p> </li> <li> <p>The sanctioning of certain behaviour.</p> </li> <li> <p>Limiting accommodation options.</p> </li> </ul> <p>The case of <a href="https://www.euronews.com/travel/2023/06/22/sardinia-popular-beaches-protected-with-towel-bans-pre-booked-tickets-and-entry-fees">the island of Sardinia and its beaches</a> is perhaps less well known than others, but very telling in this context.</p> <h2>Appreciating tourism</h2> <p>The positive attitude of the population towards the impact of tourism development in their area may change significantly if <a href="https://theconversation.com/saturacion-turistica-un-problema-global-creciente-100778">the negative impact is perceived as outweighing the positive effects of it</a>.</p> <p>This happens when the tolerance level of the local community is exceeded and tourism no longer contributes positively to their quality of life. The problem arises when those who live there permanently begin to feel that friction with tourists disturbs and damages their lives to excess.</p> <p>When no one asks them, listens to them, takes them into account and decisions are made that severely affect their lives, it is not surprising that citizens turn against tourism when, in reality, the problem is not tourism, but the management of it.</p> <p>It is only by involving these communities in decision-making that we will find the missing link in tourism governance.</p> <p>Today, we usually speak of co-governance rather than governance. In other words, public-private partnership: a two-way governance which, although necessary, is not sufficient because they alone are not the only stakeholders involved.</p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/como-superar-el-efecto-guggenheim-196421">A partnership with citizens</a>, in a broad sense, is essential to ensure their welfare and to avoid or reverse the trend of disconnection with tourism activities.</p> <p>The point is that tourism is required as an economic activity that affects the entire community, and the latter is something that seems to be missing or unwilling to be addressed. Tourism should not be created by political and business representatives without the local people, but with them. That’s the big difference.</p> <p>There is an added complexity, particularly in terms of legitimacy, in identifying the representatives of stakeholders in the territory and establishing effective participation mechanisms – not only with a voice, but also with a vote in certain decisions. However, this is the best way to support the tourism industry and to overcome mistrust and detachment.</p> <p>We must move towards inclusive and integrative governance, with <a href="https://www.e-unwto.org/doi/pdf/10.18111/9789284420841">a three-pronged approach</a>: public, private and community, whose study and application are virtually unknown fields.</p> <p>The question is not so much of what to do, but how to do it: a new model of shared leadership must include a redistribution of power within the system, which will require an extra effort to break down barriers and overcome resistance.</p> <h2>Co-governance and well-being</h2> <p>To avoid negative attitudes towards tourism, and promote harmonious relationships between locals and visitors as a path to sustainability, tourism must be able to forge a broad alliance with society.</p> <p>It is not about managing a destination, but a community with permanent residents and tourists, the latter being understood as temporary residents. The well-being of both must be at the core of the governance architecture.</p> <p>Although there is usually short-sightedness in political decisions – marked by electoral horizons – and in business decision-making – especially if they are geared towards speculation and immediate returns – the lack of support from the local population will end up generating a boomerang effect.</p> <p>Do we know the type of tourism development desired (or tolerated) by host communities? Are the voices of the local population heard and taken into account in the decision making processes, with a view to their well-being? Local communities have a much more decisive role to play in consolidating democracies. A tourism-oriented society must be geared towards tourism and committed to its development and co-creation.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/211296/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/alfonso-vargas-sanchez-1205745"><em>Alfonso Vargas Sánchez</em></a><em>, Catedrático de Universidad, área de Organización de Empresas, Dirección Estratégica, Turismo (empresas y destinos) - Jubilado, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/universidad-de-huelva-3977">Universidad de Huelva</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/sustainable-tourism-needs-to-be-built-with-the-help-of-locals-211296">original article</a>.</em></p>

International Travel

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An entry fee may not be enough to save Venice from 20 million tourists

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/sameer-hosany-292658">Sameer Hosany</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/royal-holloway-university-of-london-795">Royal Holloway University of London</a></em></p> <p>Venice’s history, art and architecture attract an estimated <a href="https://www.responsibletravel.com/copy/overtourism-in-venice">20 million</a> visitors every year. The city, a <a href="https://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/document?repid=rep1&amp;type=pdf&amp;doi=ac36ced945412121372dc892cc31498fb268247c">Unesco World Heritage site</a>, is often crammed with tourists in search of special <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/mar.21665">memories</a>.</p> <p>But for the people who actually live there, this level of tourism has become unsustainable. So from 2024, day-trippers will be charged a €5 (£4.31) fee as part of an <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2023/09/12/world/europe/venice-tourist-fee-italy.html#:%7E:text=The%20City%20Council%20passed%20an,popular%20but%20equally%20fragile%20place.&amp;text=Starting%20next%20spring%2C%20day%2Dtrippers,5%20euros%20for%20the%20privilege.">attempt</a> to better manage the flow of visitors.</p> <p>The city’s mayor has <a href="https://travelweekly.co.uk/news/tourism/controversial-e5-venice-tourist-tax-finally-approved">described the charge</a> – which will be implemented on 30 particularly busy days in the spring and summer – as an attempt to “protect the city from mass tourism”. It comes after cruise ships were banned from entering the fragile Venice lagoon in 2021.</p> <p>Both policies are designed to respond to the particular problem facing Venice, which is that <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/jul/02/venice-day-trippers-will-have-to-make-reservations-and-pay-fee">around 80%</a> of its tourists come just for the day. Research has shown that such a high proportion of day-trippers – who tend to spend little – <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0160738395000658">pushes</a> a tourist destination <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/j.1541-0064.1980.tb00970.x">towards decline</a>.</p> <p>So from next year, all travellers to Venice will have to register their visit in advance and obtain a QR code online. Day trippers will then have to pay the fee; visitors staying overnight will not.</p> <p>Other exemptions include children under 14, as well as people who travel to the city for work and study, or to visit family members. To enforce the policy, the municipal police and authorised inspectors will carry out random checks. Anyone without the proper QR code will face a fine of up to €300 (£261).</p> <p>But some have expressed doubts about whether the €5 fee – the price of a coffee or an ice cream – will be enough to dissuade tourists from travelling to this iconic ancient city. One city politician <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2023/09/12/world/europe/venice-tourist-fee-italy.html">commented</a> that the charge means Venice has become “a theme park, a Disneyland,” where “you get in by paying an entrance fee.”</p> <p>Certainly the charge is a lot less than Bhutan’s (recently reduced) “sustainable development fee” of <a href="https://globetrender.com/2023/09/17/bhutan-woos-more-tourists-reduced-entry-tax/">US$100 (£82) per night</a>, which applies to all tourists, and was introduced to encourage “high value, low impact” tourism. Research also indicates that strategies aiming at persuading tourists to come at less crowded times <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/book/9780080436746/seasonality-in-tourism">do not reduce numbers</a> at peak periods, but actually end up increasing overall demand.</p> <h2>‘Veniceland’</h2> <p>But Venice has to try something. For <a href="https://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/11/24/6937">researchers</a>, Venice is the embodiment of <a href="https://www.cabidigitallibrary.org/doi/book/10.1079/9781786399823.0000">overtourism</a>, and residents clearly suffer from the consequences – living with the congestion, environmental damage and affects on their lifestyle and culture that 20 million visitors can cause.</p> <p>This can then lead to a negative response, known as “<a href="https://www.researchgate.net/publication/348605007_Overtourism_and_Tourismphobia_A_Journey_Through_Five_Decades_of_Tourism_Development_Planning_and_Local_Concerns">tourismphobia</a>”.Another term, “<a href="https://dokufest.com/en/festival/2013/cities-beyond-borders/das-venedig-prinzip-the-venice-syndrome#:%7E:text=The%20film%20shows%20what%20remains,municipal%20council%20with%20scorn%3B%20a">Venice Syndrome</a>” has been used to describe the <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0264275123001816#:%7E:text=It%20explains%20the%20data%2Dgathering,between%20urban%20form%20conditions%20and">decline of the city’s</a> permanent population, as citizens feel forced to leave.</p> <p>Venice’s population is around 50,000 and has been consistently falling, from a peak of <a href="https://www.blueguides.com/venice-in-peril/">175,000</a>. If the population falls below 40,000, there is concern that Venice will cease to be a <a href="https://www.responsibletravel.com/copy/overtourism-in-venice">viable living city</a>.</p> <p>Those who remain have often expressed their discontent. Well publicised protests have included the “<a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-venice-funeral-idUKTRE5AD1DQ20091114">Funeral of Venice</a>” in 2009, a mock funeral to mourn the sharp drop in population, and “<a href="https://scholarworks.gsu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1065&amp;context=anthro_theses">Welcome to Veniceland</a>” in 2010, which claimed that Venice was becoming more of a theme park.</p> <p>And while “tourist taxes” <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14616688.2019.1669070">remain popular strategies</a> to address overtourism, their effectiveness remains debatable. Instead, research suggests that a <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/14616688.2019.1669070">combination</a> of specific economic measures (like fees and variable pricing) and non-economic policies (such as educating visitors) is the best option.</p> <p>That combination needs to be specially designed for each destination. There can be no one-size-fits-all solution. A <a href="https://www.e-unwto.org/doi/pdf/10.18111/9789284420070">report</a> by the World Tourism Organisation on overtourism identifies 11 different strategies and 68 measures to manage visitors’ growth in urban destinations.</p> <p>Barcelona, often seen as a city which has done well in handling mass tourism, has successfully used a <a href="https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/216242/1/CESifo-Forum-2019-03-p20-24.pdf">well targeted approach</a>. This has included harnessing new technology to develop a data driven management system to control visitor flows and overcrowding. It also deliberately engaged with the public when deciding on policies, and came up with specific strategies like limiting the number of new souvenir shops.</p> <p>But it did not resort to charging an entrance fee. Venice will be the first city in the world to do so – and other locations struggling with mass tourism will be keeping a close eye on whether such a bold move turns out to be a success.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/213703/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/sameer-hosany-292658"><em>Sameer Hosany</em></a><em>, Professor of Marketing, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/royal-holloway-university-of-london-795">Royal Holloway University of London</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/an-entry-fee-may-not-be-enough-to-save-venice-from-20-million-tourists-213703">original article</a>.</em></p>

International Travel

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Woman charged after NT Chief Minister hit in the face with crepe

<p>A 56-year-old woman is facing charges in connection with an alleged assault on Northern Territory Chief Minister Natasha Fyles, following an incident that occurred in her local electorate.</p> <p>The incident unfolded at Nightcliff Markets in Darwin at approximately 11:40am on Sunday September 24.</p> <p>According to law enforcement authorities, a member of the public reportedly thrust a crepe covered in cream into Fyles' face during the incident.</p> <p>Police confirmed on Monday morning September 25 that a 56-year-old woman has been charged with aggravated assault in relation to the incident. The accused has been granted bail and is scheduled to appear in court on October 10.</p> <p>It has since come to light that Chief Minister Fyles is a regular visitor to the Nightcliff Markets, often attending on Sundays. Nightcliff Markets manager, Ross Dudgeon, <a href="https://www.9news.com.au/national/northern-territory-news-chief-minister-natasha-fyles-allegedly-assaulted-at-nightcliff-markets/122ad004-153f-48e6-85d2-5cf66261dc0a" target="_blank" rel="noopener">spoke highly of her to 9News</a>, describing her as approachable and friendly.</p> <p>Dudgeon recounted that one of the stallholders had witnessed the incident, stating, "I had a report from one of the stallholders that they saw a woman pour something over Natasha Fyles' head."</p> <p>He mentioned that the incident occurred shortly after Ms Fyles had participated in an event celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Bendigo Bank.</p> <p>Dudgeon emphasised the friendly and welcoming atmosphere of the market, where Ms Fyles often enjoyed breakfast or a smoothie with her family on Sunday mornings. He has overseen the market for two decades, and said that it has always been community-oriented in nature.</p> <p>Darwin Lord Mayor Kon Vatskalis was also present at the event with Ms Fyles but had departed before the alleged assault took place. Reacting to the incident, Mayor Vatskalis expressed his shock, describing it as "disgusting". He further remarked that, in his 30 years in Darwin, he had never witnessed anything of this nature.</p> <p>"I just saw the very confronting video and I think this is disgusting," he said. "I have never seen anything like that in Darwin in the 30 years I've been here."</p> <p>This incident follows a previous incident in May of this year, during which Ms Fyles was reportedly followed and harassed by anti-fracking protesters while participating in a running competition in Central Australia.</p> <p><em>Images: 9News / Tiktok</em></p>

Legal

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Top End tourism surge after massive search for fake Aussie town

<p>In an absolute boon to Top End tourism, it appears that Google users have been working overtime trying to locate a little slice of Northern Territory paradise known as Agnes Bluff and its nearby neighbour Mia Tukurta National Park. Why, you ask? Because they're convinced it's the next hidden holiday hotspot. But here's the catch: it's completely made up.</p> <p>This newfound obsession with Agnes Bluff and Mia Tukurta National Park is all thanks to Amazon Prime's latest hit series, <em>The Lost Flowers Of Alice Hart</em>. People have been binge-watching the show and drooling over the stunning landscapes, causing Google searches for these places to shoot up like a rocket on a sugar rush. </p> <p>According to <a href="https://www.news.com.au/travel/australian-holidays/northern-territory/google-searches-surge-for-agnes-bluff-an-aussie-town-that-doesnt-exist/news-story/59f00cc1e89074de0e6464c0072ae4b8" target="_blank" rel="noopener">news.com.au</a>, Google searches for Agnes Bluff skyrocketed by a whopping 1640 per cent between July and August in Australia, and then another 40 per cent in September, all thanks to the series. And it's not just our fellow Aussies on the hunt for these mystical places – folks from Spain, Canada, the UK, the United States and Italy are also joining the imaginary treasure hunt.</p> <p>Can we blame them for trying to uncover these hidden gems? After all, in the show, Agnes Bluff and Mia Tukurta National Park look so darn spectacular that even the Loch Ness Monster might want to visit. But chin up, dear travellers! While you can't exactly book a one-way ticket to Fantasyland, you can still visit the real-life locations that inspired the series.</p> <p>This show was born from the creative genius of Aussie author Holly Ringland, who drew inspiration from her time living on Anangu land in Australia's Western Desert. In her news.com.au interview, she said, "To know people are Googling these places I fictionalised feels like a shot of joy straight to my heart – I don't know that there could be a greater compliment given to my writing." </p> <p>So, where was the series actually filmed? Well, it turns out they filmed all over Central Australia, including places like the Alice Springs Desert Park, Simpsons Gap, Ooraminna Station, Standley Chasm and Ormiston Gorge – just to name a few.</p> <p>And that crater that had everyone drooling? It's called Tnorala, or Gosses Bluff, and it's a mere 175km from Alice Springs.</p> <p>In fact, search interest in Gosses Bluff crater has hit a 15-year high in Australia, increasing by a whopping 500 per cent in August alone – so, it seems like people are genuinely eager to find their own piece of Alice Hart's world.</p> <p>Now, if you're wondering about the burning question that's on everyone's minds, it's this: "What is the crater in <em>The Lost Flowers for Alice Hart</em>?" And let me tell you, Gosses Bluff, or Tnorala, is the crater-du-jour.</p> <p>But here's the best part – this place is absolutely real; it's not a mirage or a figment of some writer's imagination. You can actually go there, touch it (not the crater itself, though), and breathe in the stunning views. Sure, you can't frolic inside the crater, but there are viewing points that will have you oohing and aahing like a kid in a candy store.</p> <p>And so, while Agnes Bluff and Mia Tukurta National Park might be the stuff of dreams, Gosses Bluff is the real deal. So it could be  ime to pack your bags, grab your camera and get ready for an adventure that's so real, it'll make your Google searches feel like a distant dream. </p> <p><em>Images: Prime Video</em></p>

Domestic Travel

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“Take official warnings seriously”: Aussies warned to not travel to surprising destination

<p dir="ltr">Australian travellers have been urged to exercise caution if they are planning to visit a popular Scandinavian tourist destination. </p> <p dir="ltr">The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade have warned Aussies to use “a high degree of caution in Sweden due to the threat of terrorism” in its official travel advisory for the country.</p> <p dir="ltr">The warning comes as Sweden has the country has seen a surge in racial and religious tensions, with violence escalating after anti-Islam activists publicly burned and damaged copies of the Islamic sacred text, the Quran.</p> <p dir="ltr">As a result of the violence, Australia's official <a href="https://www.smartraveller.gov.au/destinations/europe/sweden" target="_blank" rel="noopener">SmartTraveller website</a> has placed the Scandinavian country on a Level Two alert, which means visitors need to be more cautious than normal.</p> <p dir="ltr">The warning does not include urging travellers to reconsider a trip or being told not to go to a destination. </p> <p dir="ltr">“You should maintain a high level of vigilance in public spaces,” the website says.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Since the beginning of 2023, there's been an increase in public burnings of the Quran, which has led to a deterioration in the security situation.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“The Swedish Government has assessed the risk of terrorism as an 'elevated threat', equivalent to a threat level of 3 out of 5.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“This rating means an attack could happen. Take official warnings seriously.”</p> <p dir="ltr">The website offers some further advice to “protect yourself from terrorism”, including avoiding places that could be terrorist targets (such as airports, travel hubs, tourism hotspots and places of worship), avoiding visiting such places at peak times and having “a clear exit plan if there's a security incident”.</p> <p dir="ltr">Travellers are also advised to “consider the level of security around you”, report suspicious items to police, and monitor official advice and media assessments.</p> <p dir="ltr">Australia is not alone in classifying Sweden as a more dangerous country for tourists, as the UK's Home Office has warned terrorist attacks “could be indiscriminate, including in places frequented by foreigners”, while the US Department of State says terrorist groups “continue plotting possible attacks in Sweden”.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

International Travel

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Instagram is making you a worse tourist – here’s how to travel respectfully

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/lauren-a-siegel-1416907">Lauren A. Siegel</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-greenwich-1298">University of Greenwich</a></em></p> <p>Travel is back in full swing this summer, and so is bad behaviour by tourists.</p> <p>Popular destinations have seen an uptick in incidents involving tourists in <a href="http://darwin.cnn-travel-vertical.ui.cnn.io/travel/article/tourists-behaving-badly/index.html?gallery=0">recent years</a>. Reports of a <a href="https://www.euronews.com/culture/2023/06/30/hunt-for-tourist-who-carved-name-in-colosseum-intensifies">man defacing</a> the Colosseum in Rome shows that behaviour has deteriorated even in places that rarely had problems in the past.</p> <p>What’s behind these abhorrent acts? One answer, <a href="https://ertr-ojs-tamu.tdl.org/ertr/article/view/541/178">my research shows</a>, is social media. Instagram and TikTok have made it easy to find “hidden gem” restaurants and discover new destinations to add to your bucket list. But this democratisation of travel has had other consequences.</p> <p>Because people now see their social media connections from their home environment travelling in an exotic location, they assume (consciously or not) that behaviour they ordinarily carry out at home is also acceptable in that holiday destination.</p> <p>This is known as <a href="https://fs.blog/mental-model-social-proof/">social proof</a>, when we look to the behaviours of others to inform our own actions. People are likely to act more <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0013916508319448">hedonistically while on holiday</a>. Now, travellers also look to social media for proof of how others behave. If their peers from home are throwing caution to the wind while on holiday, this can cause a domino effect of bad behaviour.</p> <p>I’ve identified other bad travel attitudes and habits that have emerged as a result of <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2212571X23000045?via%3Dihub">social media-driven tourism</a>.</p> <p>For example, the <a href="https://thedecisionlab.com/biases/identifiable-victim-effect">identifiable victim effect</a>, which explains how people are more likely to sympathise with victims of tragedies when they know who those victims are. Because tourists are often sheltered in hotels and resorts away from local communities, they might (wrongly) think that travelling to a place far from home is an opportunity for consequence-free bad behaviour. They underestimate or ignore the effect their actions can have on locals or the economy.</p> <h2>The Instagram effect</h2> <p>When people travel to a beautiful place, the temptation to post photos and videos to social media is high. But, as <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13683500.2022.2086451">I have argued</a>, this creates a cycle that contributes to more self-indulgent travel.</p> <p>First, tourists see their friends post photos from a place (revealed through geotags). They then want to visit the same places and take the same sorts of photos of themselves there. Eventually they post them on the same social networks where they saw the initial photos.</p> <p>Being able to travel to and post about visiting the same places as one’s social group or online connections can be a form of <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10548408.2018.1499579?casa_token=mVH_AlLB_4kAAAAA%3Ahdz29HMEh5aCiK4TopW8WBS3lY2ZJ2n6CZQWhL5aH7d-ZK3lpsvUlowHtdy4Pa-e7ergNJgcGfI">social status</a>. But it means that, in some cases, travellers will put more energy into creating content than they will to exploration, discovery or being respectful to local customs.</p> <h2>Hotspots respond</h2> <p>Bali is one destination with a reputation for social media-induced tourism. The photogenic island, replete with yoga retreats, is a huge draw for influencers.</p> <p>In response to tourist misbehaviour, Bali <a href="https://thebalisun.com/balis-much-anticipated-list-of-dos-and-donts-for-tourists-revealed/">introduced new guidelines</a> for visitors in June 2023. These include rules about proper behaviour in the sacred temples, around the island and with locals, and respecting the natural environment.</p> <p>Tourists now need a <a href="https://thebalisun.com/bali-warns-tourists-must-have-international-driving-license-to-drive-scooters-on-the-island">licence</a> for motorbike rentals, and may not set foot on any mountain or volcano in Bali due to their sacred nature. Travellers must only stay in registered hotels and villas (which will impact a number of Airbnb properties). Bali has introduced a “tourist task force” to enforce the restrictions, through raids and investigations if necessary.</p> <p>One new guideline is to not act aggressively or use harsh words towards locals, government officials or other tourists both while in Bali, or, notably, online. This speaks to the role of social media as part of the problem when it comes to bad tourist behaviour.</p> <p>Other destinations have taken similar steps. <a href="https://pledge.visiticeland.com">Iceland</a>, <a href="https://mauitourism.org/Videos/malama-pledge.htm">Hawaii</a>, <a href="https://palaupledge.com">Palau</a>, <a href="https://www.tiakinewzealand.com">New Zealand</a>, <a href="https://costarica-sanctuary.com/make-it-happen/">Costa Rica</a> and others have adopted pledges for visitors to abide by local laws and customs. Campaigns like Switzerland’s <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wXcBGfXXL4w">No Drama</a>, Austria’s <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pgn3Y7kvJXE">See Vienna – not #Vienna</a>, Finland’s <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2019/oct/17/finland-be-more-like-finn-campaign-tourism-pledge-initiatives">Be more like a Finn</a> and the Netherlands’ <a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/dariosabaghi/2023/03/31/amsterdam-launches-stay-away-campaign-targeting-wild-party-behavior-of-young-british-tourists/">How to Amsterdam</a> are aimed at attracting well-behaved tourists.</p> <p>Where such efforts aren’t successful, some places such as Thailand’s famous Maya Bay have taken it further and fully closed to tourists, <a href="https://edition.cnn.com/travel/article/maya-bay-thailand-recovery-c2e-spc-intl/index.html">at least temporarily</a>.</p> <h2>Travel respectfully</h2> <p>Remember you are a guest of the host communities when you travel. Here are some ways to ensure that you will be asked back.</p> <p><strong>1. Do your research</strong></p> <p>Even if you’re a seasoned traveller, you may not realise the impact your actions have on local communities. But a bit of information – from your own research or provided by local governments – might be enough to help you act more appropriately. Before you go, look up guidelines or background information on local cultural or safety norms.</p> <p>Whether you agree with the customs or not is irrelevant. If it is a more conservative place than you are used to, you should be mindful of that – unlike the two influencers who were <a href="https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/08/16/bali-warns-misbehaving-tourists-will-sent-home-instagram-influencers/">arrested</a> for explicit behaviour in a temple in Bali.</p> <p><strong>2. Put down your phone…</strong></p> <p>Research shows that when travelling, <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S016073831730097X">people can become alienated</a> from their surroundings if they are more focused on their devices than the destination.</p> <p>Often the most memorable travel experiences will be when you have a meaningful connection with someone, or learn something new that you’ve never experienced before. That becomes harder if you’re constantly looking at your phone.</p> <p><strong>3. …or use your influence for good</strong></p> <p>In popular “Instagram v reality” <a href="https://matadornetwork.com/read/instagram-vs-reality-tuscany-switzerland/">posts</a>, influencers are revealing the huge crowds and queues behind the most Instagrammable locations.</p> <p>Showing the less-than-glamorous conditions behind those iconic shots could influence your own social media connections to rethink their personal travel motivations – are they just going somewhere to get the perfect selfie? Having more evidence of these conditions circulating online could lead to a larger societal shift away from social media-induced tourism.</p> <p>If you have the urge to post, try to promote smaller businesses and make sure you are demonstrating proper (and legal) etiquette on your holiday.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/209272/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/lauren-a-siegel-1416907">Lauren A. Siegel</a>, Lecturer, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-greenwich-1298">University of Greenwich</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/instagram-is-making-you-a-worse-tourist-heres-how-to-travel-respectfully-209272">original article</a>.</em></p>

Travel Tips

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"Heartbreaking" issue set to engulf Bali

<p>A viral video has shown the devastating side of tourism in Bali, with mountains of garbage taking over the popular holiday destination. </p> <p>Gary Bencheghib, a French filmmaker living in Indonesia, captured a heartbreaking video of a massive “open rubbish dump” 50 metres high covered in trash.</p> <p>He said it is one of many open dumps around Bali, which are overflowing with waste. </p> <p>“I’ve just made it here, right at the foot of this giant open landfill. It’s so high we can’t even see the top and it falls right into the river,” he said.</p> <p>Gary’s post has attracted hundreds of comments from shocked users who described the state of the site as “depressing”. </p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/reel/CvH6Sw2t09U/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/reel/CvH6Sw2t09U/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Gary Bencheghib (@garybencheghib)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>“My️ [heart] brakes by seeing this … such a beautiful country! They need education and see this. How can I help???” one person asked</p> <p>“Totally heartbreaking,” said another.</p> <p>A third person wrote, “As we love Bali so much, things like this need to be addressed also by the local community and local government hand-in-hand.”</p> <p>In an attempt to combat the ever-growing rubbish problem, that Indonesian officials have said will cost $40 million to fully resolve, a new tourism tax has been implemented. </p> <p>In July, Bali Governor Wayan Koster confirmed as of next year tourists will need to pay 150,000 Indonesian rupiah (about $15) to enter the popular island.</p> <p>He said the funds would be used for “the environment, culture and [to] build better quality infrastructure”.</p> <p>Indonesia’s co-ordinating minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment, Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, suggested to have the money spent on addressing Bali’s waste problem.</p> <p>"I think it [tourism tax] is good for Bali; why not use it to look after its waste,” he told reporters last week after signing a new conservation agreement at the Bali Turtle Special Economic Zone.</p> <p>“Garbage must be cleaned; now there is a smell. I spoke to the mayor of Denpasar to fix it but don’t use it as a political issue, it’s not good just fix it and reduce the smell.”</p> <p>He explained that if it continues without “significant and rapid improvement” the problem will become “uncontrollable”,<em> <a title="thebalisun.com" href="https://thebalisun.com/minister-says-new-tourism-tax-in-bali-should-be-used-to-tackle-islands-waste-problem/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The Bali Sun</a></em> reported.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Instagram </em></p>

Travel Trouble

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Tourists flock to the Mediterranean as if the climate crisis isn’t happening. This year’s heat and fire will force change

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/susanne-becken-90437">Susanne Becken</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/griffith-university-828">Griffith University</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/johanna-loehr-1457342">Johanna Loehr</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/griffith-university-828">Griffith University</a></em></p> <p>Thousands of people on the beach. Children reportedly falling off evacuation boats. Panic. People fleeing with the clothes on their backs. It felt like “the end of the world”, according to <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/jul/23/british-tourists-tell-of-nightmare-in-rhodes-fires-greece">one tourist</a>.</p> <p>The fires sweeping through the Greek islands of Rhodes and Corfu are showing us favourite holiday destinations are no longer safe as climate change intensifies.</p> <p>For decades, tourists have flocked to the Mediterranean for the northern summer. Australians, Scandinavians, Brits, Russians all arrive seeking warmer weather. After COVID, many of us have been keen to travel once again.</p> <p>But this year, the intense heatwaves have claimed <a href="https://inews.co.uk/news/world/heatwave-pictures-wildfires-worsen-greece-italy-spain-europe-us-2488556">hundreds of lives</a> in Spain alone. Major tourist drawcards such as the Acropolis in Athens have been closed. Climate scientists are “stunned by the ferocity” of the <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2023/jul/25/northern-hemisphere-heatwaves-europe-greece-italy-wildfires-extreme-weather-climate-experts">heat</a>.</p> <p>This year is likely to force a rethink for tourists and for tourism operators. Expect to see more trips taken during shoulder seasons, avoiding the increasingly intense July to August summer. And expect temperate countries to become more popular tourist destinations. Warm-weather tourist destinations will have to radically change.</p> <h2>What will climate change do to mass tourism?</h2> <p>Weather is a major factor in tourism. In Europe and North America, people tend to go from northern countries to southern regions. Chinese tourists, like Australians, often head to Southeast Asian beaches.</p> <p>In Europe, the north-south flow is almost hardwired. When Australians go overseas, they often choose Mediterranean summers. Over the last decade, hotter summers haven’t been a dealbreaker.</p> <p>But this year is likely to drive change. You can already see that in the growing popularity of shoulder seasons (June or September) in the traditional Northern Hemisphere summer destinations.</p> <p>Many of us are shifting how we think about hot weather holidays from something we seek to something we fear. This comes on top of consumer shifts such as those related to sustainability and <a href="https://theconversation.com/flight-shaming-how-to-spread-the-campaign-that-made-swedes-give-up-flying-for-good-133842">flight shame</a>.</p> <p>What about disaster tourism? While thrillseekers <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2023/jul/22/death-valley-tourism-extreme-weather-california">may be flocking</a> to Death Valley to experience temperatures over 50℃, it’s hard to imagine this type of tourism going mainstream.</p> <p>What we’re more likely to see is more people seeking “<a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09669582.2016.1213849?journalCode=rsus20">last-chance</a>” experiences, with tourists flocking to highly vulnerable sites such as the Great Barrier Reef. Of course, this type of tourism isn’t sustainable long-term.</p> <h2>What does this mean for countries reliant on tourism?</h2> <p>The crisis in Rhodes shows us the perils of the just-in-time model of tourism, where you bring in tourists and everything they need –food, water, wine – as they need it.</p> <p>The system is geared to efficiency. But that means there’s little space for contingencies. Rhodes wasn’t able to easily evacuate 19,000 tourists. This approach will have to change to a just-in-case approach, as in other <a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/willyshih/2022/01/30/from-just-in-time-to-just-in-case-is-excess-and-obsolete-next/?sh=195cd054daf7">supply chains</a>.</p> <p>For <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0261517712002063">emergency services</a>, tourists pose a particular challenge. Locals have a better understanding than tourists of risks and escape routes. Plus tourists don’t speak the language. That makes them much harder to help compared to locals.</p> <p>Climate change poses immense challenges in other ways, too. Pacific atoll nations like Kiribati or Tuvalu <a href="https://www.pacificpsdi.org/assets/Uploads/PSDI-TourismSnapshot-TUV3.pdf">would love</a> more tourists to visit. The problem there is water. Sourcing enough water for locals is getting harder. And tourists use a lot of water – drinking it, showering in it, swimming in it. Careful planning will be required to ensure local carrying capacities are not exceeded by tourism.</p> <p>So does this spell the end of mass tourism? Not entirely. But it will certainly accelerate the trend in countries like Spain away from mass tourism, or “overtourism”. In super-popular tourist destinations like Spain’s Balearic Islands, there’s been an increasing pushback from locals against <a href="https://theconversation.com/were-in-the-era-of-overtourism-but-there-is-a-more-sustainable-way-forward-108906">overtourism</a> in favour of specialised tourism with smaller numbers spread out over the year.</p> <p>Is this year a wake-up call? Yes. The intensifying climate crisis means many of us are now more focused on what we can do to stave off the worst of it by, say, avoiding flights. The pressure for change is growing too. Delta Airlines is being sued over its announcement to go carbon neutral by <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/may/30/delta-air-lines-lawsuit-carbon-neutrality-aoe">using offsets</a>, for instance.</p> <h2>Mountains not beaches: future tourism may look a lot different</h2> <p>You can already see efforts to adapt to the changes in many countries. In Italy, for instance, domestic mountain tourism is <a href="https://www.euromontana.org/en/neve-diversa-how-mountain-tourism-can-adapt-to-climate-change/">growing</a>, enticing people from hot and humid Milan and Rome up where the air is cooler – even if the snow is disappearing.</p> <p>China, which doesn’t do things by halves, is investing in mountain resorts. The goal here is to offer cooler alternatives like northern China’s <a href="https://english.news.cn/20230714/9ae6f89a6b7b433ebde3ec689b87f6db/c.html">Jilin province</a> to beach holidays for sweltering residents of megacities such as Beijing and Shanghai.</p> <p>Some mountainous countries are unlikely to seize the opportunity because they don’t want to draw more tourists. Norway is considering a <a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidnikel/2022/12/03/norway-to-consider-introducing-tourist-tax-from-2024/?sh=710871eb1b27">tourist tax</a>.</p> <p>Forward-thinking countries will be better prepared. But there are limits to preparation and adaptation. Mediterranean summer holidays will be less and less appealing, as the region is a <a href="https://www.unep.org/unepmap/resources/factsheets/climate-change">heating hotspot</a>, warming 20% faster than the world average. Italy and Spain are still <a href="https://joint-research-centre.ec.europa.eu/jrc-news-and-updates/severe-drought-western-mediterranean-faces-low-river-flows-and-crop-yields-earlier-ever-2023-06-13_en">in the grip</a> of a record-breaking drought, threatening food and water supplies. The future of tourism is going to be very different. <!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/210282/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/susanne-becken-90437">Susanne Becken</a>, Professor of Sustainable Tourism, Griffith Institute for Tourism, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/griffith-university-828">Griffith University</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/johanna-loehr-1457342">Johanna Loehr</a>, , <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/griffith-university-828">Griffith University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/tourists-flock-to-the-mediterranean-as-if-the-climate-crisis-isnt-happening-this-years-heat-and-fire-will-force-change-210282">original article</a>.</em></p>

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