tourism - an environmental scourge?

Bonjules

Senior Member
German
Hola todos,

I hear it costs less than 100 pounds (much less?)
for someone from the UK to hop to Mallorca, let's say, for the weekend. Air traffic is booming on an uprecedented scale. But it is not only airplanes that put (along with cars, surely) huge amounts of GHG's and other pollutants into the air.
Everytime one of those cruise liners (some are truly enormous)discharges their holding tanks with all the waste and chemicals it is a little environmental catastrophe.
Now you might say what the heck, the oceans are dying anyway, so let's have some fun...
Would you in good conscience still recommend to people to eat fish/shellfish? To me it feels a little like we are poisoning our mother, the cradle of life itself.

The underlying question being: Do we need to limit/discourage
tourism?
 
  • Hakro

    Senior Member
    Finnish - Finland
    But it is not only airplanes that put (along with cars, surely) huge amounts of GHG's and other pollutants into the air.
    One flight to Mallorca uses as much fuel as a car driver in his whole life. The much-blamed SUV's are kids play compared to tourism.

    But your question is so complicated that there are two right answers: yes and no.
     

    xarruc

    Senior Member
    England
    What are you asking?

    Are airplanes causing pollution?
    To what extent do tourists contribute to air travel?
    Should tourism be dscouraged simply because some tourists choose to fly?
    Should we eat shellfish?

    I don't think your post is a coherent start to a thread. There are already threads open on the pros and cons of tourism, and on the environment. I know that being an eco-warrior and blind faith in climate change is in vogue but I think the discussion needs to be pinned down more concisely.
     

    maxiogee

    Banned
    English
    Everytime one of those cruise liners (some are truly enormous)discharges their holding tanks with all the waste and chemicals it is a little environmental catastrophe.

    Those cruise liners are full of people.
    People on holiday. If they were not crapping into the loos of a cruise liner they would be crapping into loos somewhere else.
    They are not, I imagine, producing much more effluent just because they are on a cruise ship - so "No", tourism isn't causing the problem, the authorities which allow cruise liners to dump their loads into the environment are the problem.

    Air travel is ridiculously cheap for many people - but only because the rest of the people on the plane (or flying with the airline) are paying ludicrously expensive business and first-class fares which thereby allow the airline to fill the rest of the flight at cheap prices. Cut out the cheap tourist prices and the other fares would be even more ludicrously expensive - and the businesses and the rich would still pay the price asked - thereby giving even less 'return' for the pollution caused.

    As xarruc says, not a very coherent thread starter.
     

    Bonjules

    Senior Member
    German
    What are you asking?


    I don't think your post is a coherent start to a thread. There are already threads open on the pros and cons of tourism, and on the environment. I know that being an eco-warrior and blind faith in climate change is in vogue but I think the discussion needs to be pinned down more concisely.
    Maybe so. I think it is legitimate to illustrate a problem with some examples.
    Tourism is a luxury ('non- essential', much more so than private transportation); it contributes greatly not only to GW, but to contamination in general.
    Therefore, I ask very clearly at the end of my post if we should try to limit/discourage this activity. Is it still confusing?
     

    Bonjules

    Senior Member
    German
    They are not, I imagine, producing much more effluent just because they are on a cruise ship - so "No", tourism isn't causing the problem, the authorities which allow cruise liners to dump their loads into the environment are the problem.

    Air travel is ridiculously cheap for many people - but only because the rest of the people on the plane (or flying with the airline) are paying ludicrously expensive business and first-class fares which thereby allow the airline to fill the rest of the flight at cheap prices.
    Maxi, I have a hard time believing that you are serious here. Not only are there entire airlines specializing in getting a great many people to popular tourist spots at
    low fares - I doubt that 'regular' big carriers would burden their profits with flights losing money. That wouldn't go over too well. Or are you saying that most of those going to Mallorca are flying business class and have business meetings there, letting the tourists tag along on the remaining seats?
    On the first point: No, people, no matter where they are
    create pretty much the same amount of waste.
    Unfortunately, on the high seas, there are no 'authorities'. Anywhere else (certainly in Dublin, I' hope)
    this waste would be properly treated before being released.
     

    xarruc

    Senior Member
    England
    The problem is that banning tourism to reduce air travel and therefore suposedly divert the putative climatic cataclysim is a bit like banning football to reduce people watching TV to save the power consumption and hence the world.

    Sure air travel is putting nasties in the air and reducing air travel wouldn't hurt the environment, but would it significantly benefit it?

    Its not tourism but air travel you wish see reduced. I can be a toursit by riding my bike to the nearest village and going to the museum there. If you redefine your question to be: Should air travel for recreation be discouraged then we can have a more meaningul discusion.

    In which case my answer woud be no. Before targeting recreational travel I would seek to reduce business travel. Most meetings can be done through teleconferencing. The large number of conferences, particularly academic/research/business ones create enormous amounts of air travel. I know people who fly across the atlantic at least a dozen times a ear to do little more than collect information easily disseminated through the web. The majority are simply a jolly for the atendee (all exenses paid) that the companies are blackmailed, by the fear of missing out, into agreeing to.

    Take San Francisco. The Moscone centre there is enormous. There maybe upt0 60,000 atendees per day. Lets ay half of these are Americans. These come from all across the states, The the half come from South America, europe, Asia. All for what? Its not just San Franciso. Name a city. They're all in on it Its BIG money for the municipality. All those hotels, restaurants, bars, strip joints, trips to Alcatraz, trips up the tram line. (My apologies for to San Franciscans - but then your are patting themselves on the back over the lightbulbs right now....)


    Anyway my point: Hit the non-essential business travel first.
     

    xarruc

    Senior Member
    England
    flights losing money
    I regularly travel for less than a pound (+taxes) - with that well known Irish carrier. I book early. They make their money of business people (Barcelona London) or by last minute holiday makers (London-Mallorca). Don't tell me they are not giving me a lost-leader.

    this waste would be properly treated before being released.
    The relatively tiny amount of effluent per dump in the ocean is probably negligable.

    I happen to have on very good authority that one of the best ways to deal with human waste is light, minimal chemical treatment, filtering (solids etc), followed by dilution and pumping out to sea in a well chosen (currents etc.) point.

    Anyway - dumping by a cruise ship is probably neutral to the ocean - a nice bit of nutrients after all. The problem comes with busy waters or flushing out petrol tanks.
     

    xarruc

    Senior Member
    England
    One way would be tax-breaks for tele-conferencing

    A second would be a tax on congress attendence (but as I said the cities encourage it as much as possibe for all those $$$$).
     

    maxiogee

    Banned
    English
    Maxi, I have a hard time believing that you are serious here. Not only are there entire airlines specializing in getting a great many people to popular tourist spots at
    low fares - I doubt that 'regular' big carriers would burden their profits with flights losing money. That wouldn't go over too well. Or are you saying that most of those going to Mallorca are flying business class and have business meetings there, letting the tourists tag along on the remaining seats?
    No, I'm saying that when a certain Irish airline advertises seats to X at £0.99 they are only giving a few seats at that price - no consumer is ever going to find out how many (or more precisely, how few!) and we know that flying is an expensive operation to run and these people are making money. Now, it doesn't matter how many people fly to Mallorca with this airline, it costs the same - more or less - to send the plane there whether it is empty or full - and each trip must make a profit for the company or else the profit must come from somewhere else. I am saying that in the case of the the chartered package to Mallorca the profit is coming from the flight for the charter operator (who are not selling seats at £0.99!) and in the case of the airline which owns that plane it is coming from the charter operator using a plane |(and paying for it) at a time when the airline couldn't use that plane themselves for a greater profit. In the case of the airline flying the passengers to Mallorca, (a) not all seats are sold that cheaply, (b) they make extra money by selling food and drink which airlines used to give 'free' (c) they sell 'duty' free goods at a profit (d) they sell raffle tickets (e) they are charging for hold baggage now! And finally and most importantly, as I said they are making it up from other routes which are very profitable.


    On the first point: No, people, no matter where they are
    create pretty much the same amount of waste.
    Unfortunately, on the high seas, there are no 'authorities'. Anywhere else (certainly in Dublin, I' hope)
    this waste would be properly treated before being released.
    Well then the nations could 'gang up' on these people and insist that the would not be allowed into port unless they can prove that they have not offloaded at sea! It's all very easy. Willpower by politicians is all that is required and we all know that the main ingredient of that is elector agitation. If enough people harass their MPs, TDs and other elected representatives then change will follow.
     

    Bonjules

    Senior Member
    German
    The relatively tiny amount of effluent per dump in the ocean is probably negligable.

    I happen to have on very good authority that one of the best ways to deal with human waste is light, minimal chemical treatment, filtering (solids etc), followed by dilution and pumping out to sea in a well chosen (currents etc.) point.

    Anyway - dumping by a cruise ship is probably neutral to the ocean - a nice bit of nutrients after all. The problem comes with busy waters or flushing out petrol tanks.
    Xarruc, it looks like you are mixing the issue up with waste created on land. Procedures for that are well established and the final effluent is supposed to be fairly benign, whether dumped on land or in the sea. Unfortunately, the procedures were designed for another time; most of the dissolved chemistry in our waste is not removed by the technology used today(although I might not have the latest info; but note recent reports on all the prozac and other meds found in groundwater)
    Waste on cruise ships is not treated at all, unless you call the chemical deodorants and bowl cleansers they use 'treatment'. In fact they are a hazarde in themselves. Also all chemical waste goes directly to the tank, then to the ocean.
    I realize that cruise ships are not the only offenders. All ocean going ships clear their bilge water, cooling water,
    oil tanks etc routinely out there - it is all heavily contaminated.
     

    cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    EEUU-inglés
    This sounds like a campaign to starve Costa Ricans, Belizeños, and lots of other third world peoples heavily dependent on tourism. Remove eco-tourism from some destinations, and the locals will return to eating tortoise
    and turtle eggs.

    While you enjoy the argument about the relative costs and benefits of business and tourist air travel, why do you
    omit air freight, including postal matter? Merchandise and mail could go by clipper ship. Far less polluting. Just a bit slower. So much for the flower growers of Ecuador. They are welcome to starve to death, when their produce cannot get to market in less than a day.

    And by all means, do not forget the faux fur producers. They do have to earn a living, and fashions change quickly.
     

    xarruc

    Senior Member
    England
    I don't have data regarding the quantities of chemicals released from ships, nor how hazardess they are. However I find it inconcievable that whatever waste water cruise ships produce could have any impact whatsoever on the natural balance if dumped on the high sea.

    The ratio of dilution is just so high.

    Of course harbours, estuaries and other areas where the ship-to-water volume is high are an exception.

    Evidence of human pollution is probably less in the oceans than in any other place on earth. Human effect on the environment is obvious in many places - that black dust that pervades everything in cities - the floating rubbish in every town lake, the lack of fish in previouslyt well-populated waters. I think that aeroplane fumes and cruise ship dumps are probably the least of our worries. The "carbon-fingerprint" or whatever rubbish the latest bandwagon is going through towns is spouting is focusing on the wrong things - precisely because those things are less tangible than measures that would be more useful but are less comfortable.

    - I'm not criticising you personally - It's all the latest fads: I see with horror how it has engulfed Britain and is spreading. Carbon prints, environmental-credentials, carbon-neutralness. All these buzzwords are just the same old nonsense reinvented. Before it was politically correctness now its eco-friendliness. Money for the consultants. Spin for the local governent. The government's divert our attention with hollow gestures and the public get buggered by another tax to pay for it all and we turn around and ask for more. Sure we as a race have to minimise our effect on the planet, but the current situation is just spin, spin and more spin. The science behind it is shaky at best and the scientists themselves admit that, but we're all in a panic demanding that something be done.
     

    Hakro

    Senior Member
    Finnish - Finland
    This sounds like a campaign to starve Costa Ricans, Belizeños, and lots of other third world peoples heavily dependent on tourism. Remove eco-tourism from some destinations, and the locals will return to eating tortoise
    and turtle eggs.

    While you enjoy the argument about the relative costs and benefits of business and tourist air travel, why do you
    omit air freight, including postal matter? Merchandise and mail could go by clipper ship. Far less polluting. Just a bit slower. So much for the flower growers of Ecuador. They are welcome to starve to death, when their produce cannot get to market in less than a day.

    And by all means, do not forget the faux fur producers. They do have to earn a living, and fashions change quickly.
    You took my words, Cuchuflete!
     

    Bonjules

    Senior Member
    German
    This sounds like a campaign to starve Costa Ricans, Belizeños, and lots of other third world peoples heavily dependent on tourism. Remove eco-tourism from some destinations, and the locals will return to eating tortoise
    and turtle eggs.

    While you enjoy the argument about the relative costs and benefits of business and tourist air travel, why do you
    omit air freight, including postal matter? Merchandise and mail could go by clipper ship. Far less polluting. Just a bit slower. So much for the flower growers of Ecuador. They are welcome to starve to death, when their produce cannot get to market in less than a day..
    cuchu, 2000 overeating and mostly boozed up individuals are hardly 'eco-tourists'. The get herded off these ships - I see them here all the time- for a few hours to buy touristy stuff and take pictures, then they get collected again. But the impact of 'eco-tourism' would certainly be worth a discussion.
    You bring up an interesting point: Yes, can it be justified to ship flowers from Equador or strawberries from the other side of the globe to rich countries by airplaine - just because they happen to be out of season there?
    Just that somebody can 'pay' for this (quotation marks
    because they are of course only paying a fraction of the true cost) is maybe not a good enough reason, considering the total impact.
    As far as the folks making a subsistence living from this
    sorry 'trade', we can surely find a more reasonable way to keep them alive.
     

    cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    EEUU-inglés
    Hi Bonjules,
    You and I must travel in distinct eco-tourism circles. The ones I've known, as a member, were neither boozed-up, nor on fancy cruise ships. We spent days on end in jungles, looking, photographing, recording, learning. And what we paid the local guides made a difference in their communities. A big difference. Sure, much was 'skimmed' by the airlines and tour operators, but one guide in Costa Rica (Guanacaste Province) told me that before people came to watch the sea turtles lay eggs on the beach, those eggs were a major local food source...a dwindling one, as fewer turtles returned each year.

    The difficulty with what Xarruc properly described as faddish or a la mode environmentalism is that it looks at one facet, albeit an important one, of a systemic problem. Then there is a recommendation to treat the symptom, rather than entirely redesigning the system that produced it. The quick fix approach may ameliorate one problem, a little, and create lots of others.

    I once lived in a fifth floor walk up apartment in Lisboa. The stairway light had a timer. The challenge was to be on a landing when it used up its allotted seconds. Imagine timers on hundreds of millions of appliances—mostly lights— in US homes. The reduction in hydrocarbon combustion would probably exceed all the airplane pollution. It might create some jobs in Mexico and Taiwan and Honduras as well.
    That's a less visible, less dramatic, less fashionable target than Airbuses and 747s. Still....
     

    winklepicker

    Senior Member
    English (UK)
    Is mass tourism an environmental scourge?

    Yes. By its very nature, mass tourism ruins the very thing people go for. I can't see a way of limiting it until our oceans boil away and the human race is over and done with.

    Have you read Galapagos by Kurt Vonnegut? An entertaining disquisition on this very subject, Bonjules.
     

    TRG

    Senior Member
    english USA
    Fuel for automobiles and airplanes is made from petroleum. From one barrel of petroleum you produce about .5 barrels of motor fuel and about .1 barrels of jet fuel. Some of the jet fuel and some of the motor fuel is used by people who are just going some place for fun. Most of it is used by people who are going to work or engaged in some other commercial activity, besides tourism. To suggest that curtailing or eliminating tourism will somehow solve our environmental problems (assuming we have any) is not realistic.
     

    emma42

    Senior Member
    British English
    If we mean "mass"es of people in a place all at the same time, then, who wants to look at that, or be amongst it when one has travelled to look at meadows or temples?
     

    Bonjules

    Senior Member
    German
    I don't have data regarding the quantities of chemicals released from ships, nor how hazardess they are. However I find it inconcievable that whatever waste water cruise ships produce could have any impact whatsoever on the natural balance if dumped on the high sea.

    The ratio of dilution is just so high.

    Of course harbours, estuaries and other areas where the ship-to-water volume is high are an exception.

    Evidence of human pollution is probably less in the oceans than in any other place on earth. Human effect on the environment is obvious in many places - that black dust that pervades everything in cities - the floating rubbish in every town lake, the lack of fish in previouslyt well-populated waters. I think that aeroplane fumes and cruise ship dumps are probably the least of our worries. The "carbon-fingerprint" or whatever rubbish the latest bandwagon is going through towns is spouting is focusing on the wrong things - precisely because those things are less tangible than measures that would be more useful but are less comfortable.

    - I'm not criticising you personally - It's all the latest fads: I see with horror how it has engulfed Britain and is spreading. Carbon prints, environmental-credentials, .....
    xarruc, I don't know where you have been lately or whether you read newspapers. True, the idea that the oceans are so vast that nothing we can do will ever have an impact on them is very comforting (it is an old idea, we thought that about the air, too).
    But if you were to read, you'd notice not only reports that large stretches of ocean are already dead and that coral reefs are dying the world over. You'd also notice that govermental agencies responsible for Public Health as well others bodies and individuals go through great pains to regularly issue
    alerts and estimates regarding 'safe levels' of mercury, lead, cadmium, arsenic...a long list (I do concede that most of that is due to industry, not tourism)
    In fish it seems to concern mostly the kind that eat other fish... The truth is, nobody knows what 'safe levels of this stuff would be or if there is any level that is 'safe'.

    I find it surprising that someone would call these concerns 'the latest fads' and state that they watching
    'with horror' how they are 'engulfing Britain' (the fads, apparently). You should be watching your next plate of fish and chips 'with horror' since you have really no idea what you are ingesting there.
     

    xarruc

    Senior Member
    England
    estimates regarding 'safe levels' of mercury, lead, cadmium, arsenic...

    Oceans or lakes/estuaries/rivers? There's abig difference between them, in particular where they form an effectively closed system.

    Here is the size of the world's oceans: [EDIT - sorry the table hasnt come out well]

    Area, km2
    Volume, km3
    Mean depth, m

    Pacific
    181,344,000
    714,410,000
    3940
    Atlantic
    94,314,000
    337,210,000
    3575
    Indian
    74,118,000
    284,608,000
    3840
    Arctic
    12,257,000
    13,702,000
    1117
    Total
    362,033,000
    1,349,929,000
    3729

    Source

    I do not believe that humans could change any metal levels in 1,349,929,000 cubic kilometres.

    I don't deny that humans impact on the environment, as already stated above. I understand that speed boating in coral lagoons and dragnet fishing are highly damaging to coral. I have said we are over-fishing.

    The fad is not environmentalism. It is not awareness of man's impact on his environment. It is, as I said above, the quick-fix, score-a-vote, say-a-buzz-word, levy-a-tax environmental credentialism that in the last six months has swept Britain:

    All these buzzwords are just the same old nonsense reinvented. Before it was politically correctness now its eco-friendliness. Money for the consultants. Spin for the local governent. The government's divert our attention with hollow gestures and the public get buggered by another tax to pay for it all and we turn around and ask for more. Sure we as a race have to minimise our effect on the planet, but the current situation is just spin, spin and more spin. The science behind it is shaky at best and the scientists themselves admit that, but we're all in a panic demanding that something be done.

    I may be a carbon-culprit but I don't care because I don't believe in carbon-culpritnessism. I am an anticarbonculpritnessarian, and a founder of anticarbonculpritnessarianism if you want some new buzz words.

    Localised pollution - very bad. Toxic spills - worse. Unsustainable fishing, farming, logging - terribly short-sighted. Reducing energy wastage - commendable, renewable fuels - good idea. Going home on a plane once a year to see my mum? - negligable
     

    maxiogee

    Banned
    English
    I do not believe that humans could change any metal levels in 1,349,929,000 cubic kilometres.
    They don't have to. They only have to change the levels in certain areas. This isn't like putting some oil into the bath at home, it doesn't all get evenly distributed. The death of the coral reefs is well documented. Check out the most recent David Attenborough series Planet Earth for further information.


    The fad is not environmentalism.
    Indeed, because an awareness of the damage we're doing is not - whether one 'believes it', as you put it - a fad.



    I may be a carbon-culprit but I don't care because I don't believe in carbon-culpritnessism.
    The problem is not the carbon-culpritism, it is all the association pollution-culpritisms which accompany it. Not believing in Santa Claus doesn't make him go away! ;)
     

    xarruc

    Senior Member
    England
    Why do I feel like I am I hitting my head agaisnt a brick wall?

    Xarruc:
    Of course harbours, estuaries and other areas where the ship-to-water volume is high are an exception.

    Xarruc:
    Oceans or lakes/estuaries/rivers? There's abig difference between them, in particular where they form an effectively closed system.

    Xarruc:
    Localised pollution - very bad. Toxic spills - worse

    Maxiogee:
    They don't have to. They only have to change the levels in certain areas. This isn't like putting some oil into the bath at home, it doesn't all get evenly distributed.

    Xarruc:
    The fad is not environmentalism. It is not awareness of man's impact on his environment.

    Maxiogee:
    Indeed, because an awareness of the damage we're doing is not - whether one 'believes it', as you put it - a fad.
     

    Bonjules

    Senior Member
    German
    Time to revive an old thread methinks.

    'Cause even though mass tourism is in an ebb right now it isn't so because of a new-found respect
    and care for the Earth and our precious environment.
    In fact a huge industry is chomping at the bit to be free to take us to the fartherst corners of the
    world as soon as conditions and regulations allow them so. If you thought we would take our
    present calamity as an opportunity or a little introspection, I am afraid you are mistaken.
    Jobs are at stake, mind you.
    Rationally, we must admit of course that the more we are and the richer many of the 'more' become
    the problems associated with this activity would only increase. Will we keep engaging in it until there is not
    much beauty, diversity or 'pristine beach' is left?
    The idea that any of us who can 'afford' it has the God-given right to go anywhere and anytime he pleases
    has always seemed somewhat absurd to me.
     

    Hakro

    Senior Member
    Finnish - Finland
    Time to revive an old thread methinks.

    'Cause even though mass tourism is in an ebb right now it isn't so because of a new-found respect
    and care for the Earth and our precious environment.
    In fact a huge industry is chomping at the bit to be free to take us to the fartherst corners of the
    world as soon as conditions and regulations allow them so. If you thought we would take our
    present calamity as an opportunity or a little introspection, I am afraid you are mistaken.
    Jobs are at stake, mind you.
    Rationally, we must admit of course that the more we are and the richer many of the 'more' become
    the problems associated with this activity would only increase. Will we keep engaging in it until there is not
    much beauty, diversity or 'pristine beach' is left?
    The idea that any of us who can 'afford' it has the God-given right to go anywhere and anytime he pleases
    has always seemed somewhat absurd to me.
    Once again, like in 2007, I have to give you two answers: you are right and you are wrong.
    The mass tourism is an environmental problem, not only for the air pollution by the aeroplanes but also for the local waste problems in the tourism targets where people are not used to handle the amount of garbage.
    On the other hand, there's a lot of people who earn a good living in tourism business, people who otherways have no job to do. It's our duty, I mean us the tourists, to take care of the virgin environment and to bring educated habits with us wherever we travel. Uusually we know more about the environmental problems than the local people do. Our tourism brings not only money but also other good things to our tourism areas.
     
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    Bonjules

    Senior Member
    German
    ........................................
    On the other hand, there's a lot of people who earn a good living in tourism business, people who otherways have no job to do. It's our duty, I mean us the tourists, to take care of the virgin environment and to bring educated habits with us wherever we travel. Uusually we know more about the environmental problems than the local people do. Our tourism brings not only money but also other good things to our tourism areas.
    Tourists as wise, benign environmental mentors and helpers? Sounds too good to be true Hakro.
    This is a tough as nails competitive business where the natives figure only as cheap supportive staff or exotic background
    embellishment.
    And their economic well-being stands on clay feet as the present situation shows. What these people need is a plan
    to become self-sufficient, investment in infrastructure, edudation, manufacturing skills etc not sometimes yes sometimes no handouts.
    The environmental cost of all this traffic is enormous. Maritime traffic has increased 4% every year up to last (most of it shipping of goods)
    The tourist part of this is large and destructive. You live in Scandinavia? We are pursuing these marine mammals into your bays and fjords
    - they have no safe escape from al the noise anymore! No wonder they are killing themselves.
    We need a complete re-thinking of what we are doing.
     
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    Bonjules

    Senior Member
    German
    A new version of the scourge:
    Tourists terrorizing San Juan!
    Induced by rock bottom air fares, hordes of tourists from the mainland have been decending on Puerto Rico.
    They have not kept to Covid instructions, have accosted the inhabitants, demanded 'speak English'!,
    started fights and got drunk.
    In other words, they seem to be behaving pretty much like the Germans and British in Mallorca,
    Europeans and Americans in Bali and other places....It looks like having the money to go
    places gives you also the right to put the natives in ther place and show them who is boss.
    Maybe we need another virus....?
     

    Jennifer Weiss

    Senior Member
    A new version of the scourge:
    Tourists terrorizing San Juan!
    Induced by rock bottom air fares, hordes of tourists from the mainland have been decending on Puerto Rico.
    They have not kept to Covid instructions, have accosted the inhabitants, demanded 'speak English'!,
    started fights and got drunk.
    In other words, they seem to be behaving pretty much like the Germans and British in Mallorca,
    Europeans and Americans in Bali and other places....It looks like having the money to go
    places gives you also the right to put the natives in ther place and show them who is boss.
    Maybe we need another virus....?
    So... what's the problem? Tourism in a nutshell.
     

    merquiades

    Senior Member
    English (USA Northeast)
    If a certain country does not want tourists, all they have to do is close the border and/or make conditions for tourists very difficult.
    There are thousands of beautiful places in the world where nobody goes. I'm sure there are wonderful beaches around the world. Why do they only go to a handful of them.... Bali, Cancun, Mallorca, Puerto Rico, ......? Because they can, and they get to do what they want there in the best of conditions.
    By just getting rid of the booze, you'll probably lose a lot of those tourists.
     
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    Bonjules

    Senior Member
    German
    Ah I forgot:
    In Puerto Rico they also trashed a lot of apartments they had rented through Airbnb.
    That, maybe is not necessarily such a bad thing? :p
     

    Jennifer Weiss

    Senior Member
    Ah I forgot:
    In Puerto Rico they also trashed a lot of apartments they had rented through Airbnb.
    That, maybe is not necessarily such a bad thing? :p
    The best thing is that you earn money this way. When I was in San Juan, it didn´t look modern. I don´t know what the economy of Puerto Rico is based on but I am pretty sure tourists - apart from being rude pucks - basically stimulate it.
     

    Bonjules

    Senior Member
    German
    The best thing is that you earn money this way. When I was in San Juan, it didn´t look modern. I don´t know what the economy of Puerto Rico is based on but I am pretty sure tourists - apart from being rude pucks - basically stimulate it.
    Yes the merchants and hoteliers of San juan like tourists; tourism is one of the few sources of revenue for the island.
    The problem is with short-term rentals; they cause a lot of problems: Long term renters are very upset to have
    often loud, rambunctious or drunk visitors right next to them.
    From the viewpoint of those making their places available - the willingness to take good care of a place seems to be proportional to
    length of stay someone is considering.
    It might be wise to not simply hand over your place to people who don't care much, get drunk and are generally inclined to
    -as we say in German- 'let the pig out' ('die Sau rauslassen' :D)
    The 20 or 30 bucks might not be worth it ? :oops:
     
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    MattiasNYC

    Senior Member
    Swedish
    On the other hand, there's a lot of people who earn a good living in tourism business, people who otherways have no job to do.

    There probably are other, better ways to distribute wealth however if that's the problem.

    It's our duty, I mean us the tourists, to take care of the virgin environment and to bring educated habits with us wherever we travel. Uusually we know more about the environmental problems than the local people do. Our tourism brings not only money but also other good things to our tourism areas.

    See to me that's probably more often than not not the case. It seems to me most tourism goes to areas that are developed just enough to offer certain amenities, such as airports sufficiently close + local transportation by bus etc, plenty of transportation of goods to the tourist areas, some amount of decent emergency health care should it be needed, good housing with electricity, running water etc. So considering that I really think that you see that most often in fairly advanced nations which by definition have access to the same information we do.

    If anything it's that the leaders of the country in question (or region) have decided to make the tradeoff between the environment and revenue - assuming of course there is a negative environmental impact. So it's less about ignorance and more about priorities.

    That'd be my guess.
     

    symposium

    Senior Member
    Italian - Italy
    IMO to say that tourism is a bad thing because some tourists behave improperly is like saying that sports are a bad thing because some sport fans behave improperly: should we think of banning sports because hooligans exist?
     

    Bonjules

    Senior Member
    German
    IMO to say that tourism is a bad thing because some tourists behave improperly is like saying that sports are a bad thing because some sport fans behave improperly: should we think of banning sports because hooligans exist?
    The problem goes way beyond the immediate impact of bad behavior, of travelling to 'untouched', exotic places
    where we shouln't, of torturing marine life with all the noise and pollution, of loving Nature to death.
    Mass visitors/tourism corrupts indigenous cultures, objectifies and commercializes them to the degree where
    they become caricatures to be gawked at.
    This is not a new realization.
     
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