On Tourism and Tourists.


Some countries derive substantial benefits from tourism.

Millions of low- or non-skilled are employed and the country earns “hard” currency.

There are only a few tourist generating countries – the USA, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Germany, France, Italy, Scandinavian countries, Japan, and now increasingly, China. Certainly there are many other countries that have sufficiently wealthy people who travel abroad, but the numbers are too small to make an impact.

Major tourist receiving countries are Caribbean islands (mostly from North America and some from Europe), Greece, Turkey, China, India, Australia, France, the United Kingdom, the USA, Canada, Mexico, Spain.

Recently the Jamaican government announced that a fee of US

$ 20.00 will be imposed on each arriving passenger, and US $.00 on each night stay in hotels with less than 51 rooms; US $ 2.00 for hotels with 51 – 100, and US $ 4.00 for hotels with more than 101.

Similar surcharges were announced in Antigua.

All of the above are bound to deter at least some tourists, and this may represent a significant reduction in tourist-generated revenue.

Also, more and more countries are now applying a rule to charge and “entry fee” in retaliation to the US and Canadian governments insistence of a visa for their citizens. Both governments started the visa policy to prevent illegal immigration, countries applying “entry fees” found an easy way to extract much desired hard currency for their coffers without rendering anything in return. This, in my opinion, is a shortsighted measure, and deters tourism.

Another way of gouging tourists is a fee now being charged to all passengers departing from an airport, even those in transit; the claim being a fee for expansion and/or renovation, and a departure tax, which at least in Canada, is unconscionably high.

Millions of unsuspecting tourists experience unpleasant and unjustifiable overcharges starting with restaurant bills, to souvenirs, schemes by guides ho promise much more than they deliver, and taxi drivers who take the longest route to the destination or claim the meter to be broken, and then charge extra high prices.

All these make indelible impressions on tourists who tell their experiences to friends, relatives, business associates, a many now write about them in social Internet sites.

Cruising is a popular way for travelling for many elderly or “lazy” people who like the convenience they offer. Yet many fail to realize the hazards lurking on some huge cruise boats that can accommodate more than 3000 passengers and hundreds of crew.

One hazard is food poisoning, another the quick spread of viruses, and security lapses and shortcomings. Of late, several cruise passengers’ simply vanished. Cruise companies claim such occurrences to be suicides, but never really thoroughly investigate the real causes, which may be linked to poor installations, railings, security.

Tourists can be annoying and ask for foods that are simply unavailable in some countries (pork in Muslim countries, specialties of their culture, In many instances these demands cause unduly high prices for foods that sometimes locals may also want to try.

Some also exhibit nasty habits (drugs, excessive alcoholic beverage consumption, and perverse sexual practices.

Some of the tourists complains mostly by Germans, are – brochures promising ocean or lake view room and failing to deliver, local shopkeepers who close for lunch (as is the case in many Italian cities) or afternoons (mostly in Spain), in India and Sri Lanka practically all restaurants serving everything curried, swimming pools or water parks not making available towels or bathing suits, beaches that are too sandy or not “white” enough, or existence of topless beaches, or non-existent topless beaches, fake goods, too much marine life in the water, the size of beds or rooms.

In Europe or Japan, many North American tourists complain about small food portions, receptionists not speaking English, or German, too many mosquitoes. German tourists in southern Spain complain of the absence of German beer, or German specialties.

All of the above show that in order to run a successful tourism enterprise, industry managers/owners must think of the repercussions of their policies, local customs, the way tourists think and behave and advertise accordingly, or train their staff to deliver services as expected.

Many people including myself have come across totally unacceptable behaviour – in Mexico i.e airline checking in employees simply turning their backs so as not to answer simple questions, filling tap water into bottles and pretending the water to be certified source water, never honouring departure times, being dishonest, inflating prices charged in souvenir shops so that the tourist guide can claim his/her share afterwards, in Morocco all souvenir ambulant vendors pretend not to understand the meaning of the word no and pester tourists constantly to buy something inferior in quality at an inflated price or pretends to be a tourist guide who knows absolutely nothing about the site in question.


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