Anti-Travel Writing: A Thing

“Tourism is about the consumption of place. Like every other form of consumption, it is dependent upon brands. As Naomi Klein has pointed out, we live in the golden age of branding, and Majorca and Amsterdam and Hawaii and New Zealand are brands, as much as Levis or Calvin Klein.”
“Tourism today may be widespread, but it is subject to certain constraints. We may be able fly to a distant location for a holiday, but we are often able to spend only a brief period – a few days or a couple of weeks – there, before returning to dreary jobs and mechanical day to day routines. Travel has become the ‘other’ of work. Because we are often so busy at work, we choose to be indolent on holiday – to switch off cell phones and brains and lie on a beach. If we are obsequious at work, trying to impress or placate workmates or customers, then we can be selfish and demanding on holiday. Our interactions with the people and places we are visiting are often carefully mediated and commercialised. The inhabitants of the places we visit are more likely to be pouring us drinks than sitting talking to us over a drink. Life on a typical package holiday is as unbalanced, in its own way, as life in a modern workplace often is.”
– Scott Hamilton. Read the whole thing here

6 thoughts on “Anti-Travel Writing: A Thing”

  1. Well said, and cutting close enough to draw blood. What is the remedy, Scott? A staycation, or refusing simply to be a tourist in a strange land (which could prove dangerous).

      1. I think this simply pertains to package tourists. As long as a common language can be found, cultures will always interact with eact other. Perhaps not with people who are vacationing for a week…

  2. “Tourism is about the consumption of place.”

    When it comes to tourism, are we there just to take photos of a place or do we really want to experience a place, to learn about a place, the people, the history?

    Do we want to treat people like objects or like subjects? Do we talk at people or do we talk with people?

    Many people travel hundreds or thousands of miles to some place just so they can consume other people and their goods and services.

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