Time to give tourists a break


There are those who would have you believe that the whole pandemic is actually a means for certain nefarious world powers, elected officials, and large corporations to reset how we live. These conspiracy theories usually revolve around the notion of governmental control. Anti-vaxxers lead the charge. Don’t tell me what to do.

Well, if there is to be a reset, and if we are going to start from zero, then I believe, as a start, the time has come to call off the constant open season on tourists

If there is to be a reset, and if we are going to start all over from zero, then I believe one element of the overhaul should be the realization that the time has come to call off the constant open season on tourists. During the recent lockdowns and closures, we have heard repeatedly how hard the tourist industry is being hit. With travel both locally – domestic tourism – and around the world at a virtual standstill, those businesses that rely on travelers and visitors – from airlines and hotels to an assortment of tourist sites – have been hamstrung for months (years?). They are pleading for an easing of restrictions that hit them in the wallet.

It’s assumed that on top of the travel and accommodation costs tourists, while allegedly saving the industry, are also expected to accept outrageous prices

I’m not a big traveler, nor could this be called a tourism blog, but when I do play explorer, I am often gobsmacked by the phenomenon whereby the allegedly essential tourists, the very sustenance of tourism, those folks who are the bread and butter of the industry, are screwed at every turn. You would think that exorbitant prices on everything from souvenirs to attractions would have a negative effect on business. But the attitude towards these much-coveted clients is that they know, and accept, it’s all part of being a tourist. It’s assumed that on top of travel and accommodation costs, often geared to business travelers who are not paying out of pocket, tourists, while allegedly saving the industry, are also expected to accept outrageous prices. It’s time for overcharging to no longer be accepted as part of tourism, by both tourists and businesses.

A well-known Irish tourist attraction is Blarney Castle. A visit to this landmark includes the opportunity to kiss the famous Blarney Stone. Here’s something that is clearly aimed at tourists; I can’t imagine too many locals dropping by every couple of weeks for a cold smooch. It’s one of those things that, as a visitor to the area, you just have to do as per the lore and myth attached to the Stone. What’s less well known is that there is a €19 (that’s USD$22) fee to enter the castle. I don’t want to pick on the Irish, the price to take an elevator to the top of the Eiffel Tower is €26 – that’s 30 US bucks!!

Wouldn’t you think that a sector of the economy that relies almost entirely on another group might just treat said group well? What part of normal business includes an approach based on ripping off your main clientele? Of course, the truth is that tourism relies greatly on one-off customers. They don’t really care if you feel hard done by. Souvenir stores tend not to have regulars.

An overall appreciation of the people who make the tourism industry tick is long overdue

Now, as we slowly start to return to less restrictive measures wouldn’t it be a good idea, in an attempt to get leery tourists back out on the road and into hotels and restaurants, to treat them nicely? Or at least fairly? Perhaps some ‘Welcome Back’ sales. Cut-rate attractions. An overall appreciation of the people who make the tourism industry tick is long overdue.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this:
search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close