Keeping cool places to yourself

Sometimes when I discover a really cool place, whether it’d be a temple, a bar or a local restaurant, I get tempted to not tell my friends.  I’ll admit that at times I’m selfish and want the fun venues to stay a secret.

The next time you find an interesting town or city, it might be best not to tell all your friends about it, as this recent Washington Post article suggests. It discusses the negative effects of mass tourism, which is sobering, since I like to believe in the benefits of travel, for vagabonders and locals alike.

I think this happens because developing a tourism industry is rarely an organized campaign, like in Dubai(maybe not even there either).  Instead, backpackers discover a new place, word gets out, then the hordes arrive. It’s usually the result of local entrepreneurs who rush to capitalize on a flood of visitors. Corrupt local officials are only too happy to let it happen, and get a share of the profits.

Should governments or local NGOs try to grow a tourism industry organically, rather than letting this haphazard situation repeat itself?  But it’s hard to know which destinations will catch on with travelers. Tourism growth tends to be a more organic process, rather than a planned campaign. Any thoughts?

Posted by | Comments (1)  | October 16, 2008
Category: General

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