Despite the fact we’re all going to die in some post-apocalyptic hell fire, tourism is on the rise in some cities. New York City is expected to gain 1 million more tourists this year, which is great timing for the “Summer of Hell” that is happening this summer with public transportation.
This jist of a New York Times story focused on how tourism is spreading to outlining neighborhoods. Tourism is no longer relegated to city centers. Due to social media and travel apps, that must have dish is just a Lyft ride away to Queens or the Bronx.
In the gentrified areas of Brooklyn, it is now common to see sightseeing buses ride by while lumberjack beardos and tattooed pixie girls drink locally brewed kombucha. Tourists buses in Brooklyn is a true first world problem.
About five years ago, I was out drinking with friends in the Carroll Gardens section and we kept on seeing the sightseeing buses. Eventually, we would wave, hoping to get a reaction and to sarcastically welcome them to outer boroughs. The tourists on the buses all looked scared, so nothing happened.
Meanwhile, other cities are trying to curb tourists while maintaining their way of life. For example, the few residents that actually live in Venice, Italy (the most touristy place on Earth) started posting signs that said, “Tourists Go Away! You Are Destroying This Area.” In parts of Spain, residents are spray painting on walls, “Tourists Are Terrorists.” I hope people put that on their Instagram feed.
The big picture is that tourists are spending big bucks in cities, sustaining local economies. The annoyance is that they are tourists in mass quantities who can be demanding and wanting a specific experience at the expense of locals. Basically, every local is there to meet their needs. It will take a big cultural leap to train people to be better travelers and not disrupt local cultures. Simple please and thank you’s from visitors are a start.