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Top tourism spots crack down as they become victim of own success

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By Emma Batha

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whats that expression about having your cake and eatting it?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I think it goes,”you cant eat your cake if you haven’t got any” and makes the point that the “poor tragic Venetians” won’t be getting much sympathy out of Yemini’s, Syrians, Libyans, Sudanese, Bangladeshis, Ruhingyans and the like, whose problems are more of day to day survival and a battle against starvation.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

“poor tragic Venetians” won’t be getting much sympathy out of Yemini’s, Syrians, Libyans, Sudanese, Bangladeshis, Ruhingyans and the like, whose problems are more of day to day survival and a battle against starvation.

True, but you can only deal with the problems that you've got - and a deterioration in your (relatively privileged) home environment caused by overtourism is still a problem.

Some of the problems mentioned here could well be the future of Japan (some are already) if Japanese authorities don't start thinking about the potential problems caused by too many tourists, and perhaps looking to some countries overseas for clues as to how to avoid the worst of it.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

whats that expression about having your cake and eatting it?

I disagree with this, because what Venetians have is their town being used to sell cruises. Cruises where people pay to eat and sleep on the boat. The locals have to pay to maintain all the canals, bridges, old buildings etc. but see little of the benefit. They get crowds but little revenue from them and huge ships polluting their bay.

Local landowners in Venice will have profited massively from AirBnB, but that may be a low percentage of local people. Renting for life is common in mainland Europe. Rewarding people for selling up and leaving is not a good form of economic benefit anyway.

Most "cake and eat it" type debates about tourism focus on the benefits vs. the problems with tourism. Venice sounds like it is heavily skewed toward the problems. I don't think the situation is as skewed anywhere in Japan. Kyoto is cited most often, but I would argue that it is tourism that is protecting the non-temple Japanese architecture left in the city. The majority, which is already lost, was knocked down by Kyoto locals themselves.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Ah the stones of Venice. The quiet misty mornings. The bridges. The canals. Strains of Mahler playing in your head.

Truth is that even before the Internet help to create the cruise ship horror Venice was a tourist trap. You quickly learned to ask the price of things before buying or risk getting cheated and avoid the fake tourist guides who want to get money off you in some way. You then learned you do not need gondolas to get around Venice. There are bridges everywhere. Then you found the least visited part of Venice, the old Jewish quarter. A truly pleasant place. The one place you were the most unlikely to be ripped off.

My favorite place in Italy is Bologna. There is nothing for tourists to see. But if you sit for a while on the stone steps of the Piazza Majore, you a special kind of peace that comes from being surrounded by ancient buildings that exist because they are functional and convivial and not because they attract avalanches of tourist.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Top tourism spots crack down as they become victim of own success

It is only a matter of time before the Japanese government will need to take similar measures In Japan and according to me they best start doing so now in certain places.

Keep tourist spots liveable for both local residents as well as the tourists and you will have a win-win situation.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

My favorite place in Italy is Bologna. There is nothing for tourists to see. But if you sit for a while on the stone steps of the Piazza Majore, you a special kind of peace that comes from being surrounded by ancient buildings that exist because they are functional and convivial and not because they attract avalanches of tourist.

So actually lots for tourists to see in Bologna, or to put it another way, plenty to experience. I had the same feeling in Lucca back in the mid 1980s, after enduring a hopelessly overcrowded Florence. It's just hard to keep that special quality some places have, when there are people everywhere - including ourselves, let's be honest.

Oh, and kudos for working Death In Venice into your comment.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It [ Belgium] is moving away from marketing its medieval cities like Bruges and Ghent as it tries to lure cyclists, art lovers and beer aficionados to its country lanes, cultural gems and monastery breweries - taking them off well-worn tourist trails.

Oh good. Spread the existing blight to the rest of the country. Rethink this strategy. Please.

The bonafide cyclists, genuine art lovers, and true affectionados of various cultural offerings have already found the country lanes and local gems. No need to bus more people in droves to any remaining and relatively unspoiled places.

The cash-cow type of tourism nations have fallen into is a complex, economy-driven dilemma with no easy, quick-fix solutions. Countries thought they could boost local economies by marketing their charms; however, the actual result is a Faustian bargain.

Since no governments thought it prudent to restrict and control tourist agencies' access to popular sites and are consistently aiming to increase tourism annually, there's not much that can be done after the fact.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Lee

the “poor tragic Venetians” won’t be getting much sympathy out of Yemini’s, Syrians, Libyans, Sudanese, Bangladeshis,*

I don't know, at least the Yemini’s, Syrians, Libyans, Sudanese, Bangladeshis etc can get peace at night and in the early morning, free from the constant rattling of small wheeled luggage.

Venice is pretty awful now. Having been there in the 60s, I made a mistake of going back for a work related conference not so long ago.

Touring was fun, but now we are all environmentally conscious about the effect you should not do it any more. Tourism, the corporatized industry, dropped it to its knees; AirBnB is stricking the death blow most places it expands to with Instagram as its weapon.

I just don't see the need for most people to do so.

*Kyoto is cited most often, but I would argue that it is tourism that is protecting the non-temple Japanese architecture left in the city. The majority, which is already lost, was knocked down by Kyoto locals themselves.*

Kudos for working Alex Kerr into your comment.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I can sympathize with the comment in the article about cheap trinkets made in China being offered for sale in Venice. We used to go to a place in central California called Solvang for the Danish-American atmosphere and food. There were a lot of tourist shops, but they had good quality souvenirs. Then, things changed. The shops got sold to foreigners, and the souvenirs mostly said "made in China." It is still possible to get good food there, if one knows where to find the hidden restaurants that the locals use, but the atmosphere is gone.

I do not mean this comment to sound like I do not like Chinese or China. It just so happens that Chinese goods are now widely available as souvenirs in a place that is supposed to reflect a Danish background, and that doesn't work for us.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It’s all about greed not the tourists!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Once it comes to speculative, non-resident Airbnb landlords and service companies enabling them, I accept that is true.

But I'm not sure it starts like that.

But we have two tragectories set to collide here;

How is the government going to square the concept of

a) tourism as an earner, with

b) the reality of air transport being one of the worst and needless air polluters, when it come to the climate crises and carbon emission targets?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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