Tourism, friend or foe of our planet?

Tourism, friend or foe of our planet?

Taleb Rifai once said, “Tourism can continue to grow and be a danger to the world, or it can continue to grow in good health and contribute to a cleaner planet.” From here is that I want to begin to separate the two parts: the development of the towns, cities, destinations and other beneficiaries of this industry, and the chaos that it provokes, of course as long as it is not controlled.

We see cities so important and first world that have been affected by this phenomenon, as is the case of Paris, Venice and Barcelona, or archaeological sites such as Easter Island, Machu Picchu, and even closer, Chichen Itza here in Mexico. Without going so far and to the extremes, close, we have a very clear example of what happens when a destination does not measure its load capacity, or rather does not want to do it: Sayulita.F

the truth of turism phobia

 

The word of this summer, in Spain, has not been “slowly”. Not to be, it wasn’t even “Neymar” or “independence”; The word of the summer, here, was turismofobia.

Turismofobia is ugly: an ungracious goop of two new words. Tourism dates from the eighteenth century but exploded in XX; Phobia, in its current meaning, is only a hundred years old. And the Union of the two is right now.

It all started when tourism became an “industry” — with forgiveness — decisive. Last year, it moved 1.2 billion people across borders, spawned 10 percent of the world’s gross product — the same as agriculture or oil — and provided one in ten jobs. Tourism is democratized: one in six people in the Turistea world. So far from that summer of 1936 in which French workers conquered, for the first time in history, paid vacations.

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In this industry Spain is leader: the third most visited country on the planet, after the United States and France, and the first in tourists per capita… and continue to increase. In 2016 arrived 75 million of walkers and is expected to be 83 this year: The Sun, the paella, the sangria, the march and prices are still more or less the same, but now other Mediterranean destinations seem insecure or hostile, while Spain does not. More than two million Spaniards live on these visits. The big change is that, lately, many compatriots detest the tourist or, at least, tourism.

We call tourism to the fact of travelling without another justification than the journey itself. Do not travel to write it, to do business, to educate yourself or to educate, to see friends or loves or enemies or enemy loves. Tourism is travelling for nothing in particular and both at the same time. The journey, let’s say, in its purest form.

Tourism is a great metaphor of contemporary civilization: a impetuous, omnipresent activity that might not exist and nothing would happen. The tourist is a contradictory being, example of the current culture: the culture of masses with pretensions of exclusive. The tourist often believes that it is not: that he is not like those. The tourist, when it is and when it is not, disdains the tourists. Only that quiet contempt of the local by the tourist has lately become something like hatred: The enemy that ruins your life. Or even good old class hatred: that bastard with more money for those who work. Or to the outbreak of the lowest proprietary instincts: What these strangers come to use me what is mine.

The Spanish turismofobia grows in Madrid, San Sebastián, Granada, but it has its epicenter in Barcelona. Last year the city attracted 30 million visitors, and polls say tourism is the main concern of the locals, above unemployment, traffic, access to housing. The issue comes out in all talks, resentment grows and left groups that try to synthesize it with almost violent actions, almost Bobas: The most notorious is called Arran, is part of the CUP – candidacy Unity Popular, Catalan independence – And, in the last few weeks, stopped a tourist bus, punctured the bicycles of tourist bikes, painted on some walls tourists go home or, even, All tourists are bastards. The big media gave him the disproportionate diffusion they usually dedicate to these scarecrow.

 

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