13 July 2011

Guidebooks of doom and the new Chinese Grand Tourists

These links are a bit old, but still of note: 

The Wall Street Journal reports that in Hawaii, too many tourists are doing dangerous-slash-stupid things based on guidebook recommendations. So many, in fact, that the state legislature is considering a law to "hold Hawaii guidebook writers personally liable for deaths or accidents at spots they recommend."

I think it bears repeating: the best guide is some common sense. 

There's that old headline trope again: Europe on [monetary amount] a day, the cheap journalism cliche that originated with, of course, Europe on Five Dollars a Day, and now just won't stop. In any case, though, this article offers an interesting insight into the newest generation of Grand Tourists. Many of the points and anecdotes are similar to those in the Economist article from last year about Chinese Grand Tourists, although it's still fertile ground for storytelling. 
In the front row of the bus, Li stood facing the group with a microphone in hand, a posture he would retain for most of our waking hours in the days ahead. In the life of a Chinese tourist, guides play an especially prominent role—translator, raconteur, and field marshal—and Li projected a calm, seasoned air. He often referred to himself in the third person—Guide Li—and he prided himself on efficiency. “Everyone, our watches should be synchronized,” he said. “It is now 7:16 p.m.” He implored us to be five minutes early for every departure. “We flew all the way here,” he said. “Let’s make the most of it.”
As long as the demographics of tourists keep changing--that is, as long as more people from more places and more backgrounds start traveling--the tourist trail will continue to evolve, to have fresh stories, to retain an intrinsic newness and intrigue. Each person, each culture passing through, leaves its own mark.  

1 comment:

  1. I call the high and light aspects of my being SPIRIT and the dark and heavy aspects SOUL.
    Soul is at home in the deep shaded valleys.
    Heavy torpid flowes saturated with black grow there.
    The rivers flow like arm syrup. They empty into huge oceans of soul.
    Spirit is a land of high,white peaks and glittering jewel-like lakes and flowers.
    Life is sparse and sound travels great distances.
    There is soul music, soul food, and soul love.
    People need to climb the mountain not because it is there
    But because the soulful divinity need to be mated with the Spirit.
    Deep down we must have a rel affection for each other, a clear recognition of our shared human status. At the same time we must openly accept all ideologies and systems as means of solving humanity's problems. No matter how strong the wind of evil may blow, the flame of truth cannot be extinguished.


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