Saturday, September 28, 2013

Tourism Paradigm Shift

Unbelievable as it sounds, I started this post in 2008(!), under the title "What's Wrong with Tourism?". The few bullet points I wrote laid in the draft copy undeveloped until new technology (websites and applications) came to the rescue.

The main idea I wanted to convey back in 2008 wast hat tourists usually have a shallow experience of countries they visit. They see sites and take pictures, but don't get to know locals, talking only to receptionists, waiters and other service providers. Yes, there are exceptions, but they are not the norm.

Vacation home exchange sites were the first step into a deeper experience, with the movie The Holiday suggesting this is a way of finding romance. soon followed opening up two-way communications. and give useful comments and rankings, making them invaluable for planning and booking vacations. is the latest I heard of, helping you dine in private homes or host travelers for a meal in yours.

So yes, tourism becomes more personal, a positive shift for people who like to know others from around the world. But with all this globalization going on, we are still looking for and value the authentic and uncharted.

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