Saturday, July 4, 2015

Tourism is bullshit


Back in the hippy-dippy era I too criss-crossed Europe with a knapsack slung over my shoulder. I bought hashish in Amsterdam and checked out some of those store-fronts with the scantily clad ladies in the window.

I was a tourist.

At some level I suppose I contributed something to the economy. But overall I was an obnoxious know-nothing. All things considered, my hosts would have been better off without me.

I think that holds true for the vast majority of tourists today; the hosts would be better off without you. Mass tourism seems little more than a scheme to keep Boeing and Airbus and a handful of international resort developers in business.

There is certainly a niche for legitimate international tourism. The mountaineer who has already climbed all the most demanding peaks in Europe and America may be excused for wanting to take a crack at Everest. The religious pilgrim who wants to see Jerusalem or Mecca or Bethlehem or Amritsar... I think we can cut them some slack.

But for the folks who are just polluting the skies and the seas in search of an all-you-can-eat all-you-can-drink package vacation, what's the point?

Just stay home and stay drunk for a week!

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