Tag Archive for tourism

Globalisation and Tourism

Although there are some positive aspects of globalisation, for example, the ability to experience different cultures through food and music without having to travel across continents, there are also many downsides.

It has led to a very stereotypical view of the world. Because of globalisation, we have an opinion about different cultures without having experienced them firsthand. This can be dangerous as our culture will always seem superior compared to others, particularly when it comes to political opinion, or the reporting of news from other countries.

This can often cause some upset and local issues when people see their own culture overrun by those imported overseas.  This was often the cause of problems in France where the pervasiveness of US fast food outlets caused much concern.  You can actually see some of the reports of these problems in the archives of French TV stations, although you’ll need a French proxy like this to access from outside the country.

Similarly, although there are rules against big businesses monopolising the markets, we still see it in action. Tourism is huge, and the big brands know this, it is why there is a chain at some of the biggest tourism sites across the world. Perhaps the most bizarre example of this is the McDonalds’ restaurant that is located a mile away from the Dachau concentration camp in Germany. There seems to be little consideration about the local businesses that simply cannot afford to compete with the corporations.

It could also be argued that because businesses are attracted to the sites that attract the most tourists, they are destroying the local community. This can be in many different ways such as the building of main roads which could potentially remove great scenic cycling or walking routes.

Although these well-known brands may increase visitors or through traffic to a location which may in turn help the local economy, it is important to preserve local cultures and environments otherwise everywhere in the world will be the same.

It is also important to help those who cannot help themselves. If a nation does not have to means to join the ‘global village’ it may become lost, as less attention will be paid to it. To put in another way, if a nation has nothing to offer for globalisation, it will not become a part of the global community.

We have come to terms that we live in a world that is connected, but to be connected you need to be able to offer something in return, whether it is a financial offering or something else, this is a clear disadvantage to the poorer nations of the world.

James Cameron

uktvabroad.org

Debt, Tourism and Land Values

When globalization first became a word that the media bandied about in the late 1980s, many people were suspicious of the concept. Workers in North America and Europe rightly perceived that their jobs were under threat. Big corporations could save billions by moving operations to developing nations and paying $1 an hour for labor instead of $10.

Now in 2012, people just accept globalization as a part of life. The conscience of many is assuaged by buying Fair Trade and environmentally friendly products. We are told that M&S and the like go out of their way to bring extra benefits to their poorly remunerated workers.

The mechanics of globalization and the injustice it represents has become far more sophisticated and opaque over the years. Take the example of tourism. It now accounts for 30% of the export of world services.

Before places like Thong Nai Pan in Koh Phangan were a beautiful places mostly visited by backpackers. Local people and other Thais could afford to set up small businesses on the beach. They could take out small loans to pay for rent and business start up.

As outside interests realized the true value of the beaches in the area, especially Thong Nai Pan Noi they simply approached the major landlords and made them offers they couldn’t refuse. The result is a luxury tourist enclave. The small local businesses are losing custom and being pushed out the best spots. Because they couldn’t afford to buy the land there is nothing they can do about it. Those remaining are being squeezed by raising rental prices. Besides which the new tourists are being encouraged to stay around the resort pool and spend their money in the hotel.

Google is pushing out websites like www.thongnaipan.info that attempt to promote the small businesses in the area. They are colluding with the neo-imperialist agenda of globalization. Trip Advisor, Wikitravel etc. are filler for corporate sites selling expensive hotel rooms. The information highway is not helping small businesses. The net is dominated by reviews of hotels and expensive restaurants. It is not a level playing field. In many ways it is emulating the conditions created by the IMF and World Bank.

In 2008 we witnessed the biggest transfer of wealth in the history of the world from poor to rich. In 2012 we are witnessing the biggest hijack of the net by corporate run entities. The future is bleak and consumers are persuaded to ignore these salient points.