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Improving Tourism

This article was posted in the Scotland section this morning and this comment caught my attention;

Councillor McVey said the group had reaffirmed the aims of Edinburgh’s
new Tourism Strategy - a 10 year plan which focuses on managing
tourism and balancing the needs of local residents, businesses and

It got me wondering if other cities that are also reevaluating the tourism vs residents challenges will be disciplined enough to stick to the plan or if the desperation for the tourism money will cause politicians to take the short term view and throw long term planning out the window.

Posted by
4116 posts

I think most will stick to their plans. For example, Venice has been desperate to reduce the number of visitors, particularly those on cruise ships for ages and the current situation is an opportunity to redress the balance.

Most visitors to Edinburgh are from the U.K., not from overseas.

Posted by
5289 posts

I hope so, but I think its a mistake to underestimate the power of money, and how much business, developers, and outside investors dominate local politics in places like Venice. The voice of residents gets drowned out. Local politicians there are just as susceptible to lobbyists and deal-making as they are here in the US. I think I recall reading that something like 90% of the restaurants and shops in the main tourist area of Venice are owned and operated by corporations, many of them from outside Europe.

Posted by
51 posts

Yeah, I can see countries/cities using this as a reason to limit the over-tourism some experience, especially during peak travel times. That of course means higher prices during those times ... but would that mean better deals during off-peak times to draw in the tourism dollars or less deals as they try to recoup the loss of revenue from the limited peak season tourism? My opinion ... local governments will take advantage of this and put similar plans in place but, as usual, after a year or 2, the politicians will look for ways to increase revenues and re-evaluate the plans yearly until we are right back to where we were pre-covid ... my guess is 5 years.

This gets me wondering if I'll ever get to see the tattoo (one of my bucket list items) ... strongly considered going last year but a 2 week trip to Portugal won out. No regrets, Portugal is fabulous ... reminds me I'm out of port, need to make a run to the my nearest Goody Goody ... bye.

Posted by
2026 posts

I think day-trip fees will be added.

But here's the thing - the main re-evaluation, being done by tourists, is "How crazy would I need to be to take a cruise?" We are not cruise tourists. We have talked about maybe doing the Yangtze or Mekong, but not the Caribbean ever. The cruise business is going to be flattened by COVID-19.

Posted by
1401 posts

"How crazy would I need to be to take a cruise?"

I'll book a cruise again, but I do have other trips on the plate before then and so I've got a couple of years to evaluate the industry to see what measures they're taking to enhance sanitization of ships as well what measures local governments are taking to either welcome back or restrict the industry. My guess is money wins and local governments welcome back the ships with open arms.

Posted by
47 posts

Does that mean fewer tourists swarming ports of call, or just more passengers flying instead, whatever form air travel takes going forward?

Posted by
6326 posts

Improving tourism isn't just what "someone else" should do. We all have a part to play by making good decisions to promote sustainable tourism. We are the demand side of the equation, so we shape how things ultimately turn out.

I think places with good leadership and solid plans will show discipline - desperate ones will shortchange the future for short-term gains. We'll see how it plays out. I'm fairly sure I'll never see Venice (by choice).

Posted by
4407 posts

We will cruise again, currently we plan a TransAtlantic cruise in October 2021. There should be a vaccine by then.

I am 72 and lived overseas for a total of 9 years in the 80s and 90s. Also, I retired in 2010 and have done a lot more foreign travel.
The difference between travel in the 80s and today is that huge numbers of tourists. In the 80s you didn't need to reserve ahead to visit the Sistine Chapel or the Accademia Museum in Florence. Now, you must reserve.

Yes, many ports seem overrun with cruise ship passengers. The worst ports seem to be in the Caribbean, and after one cruise there, we don't care to go again. Still, places like Venice get it in waves. However, it is still a grand place to visit, especially if you plan ahead.

I think Venice is concerned now about the erosion caused by cruise ships, since the city was built on a swamp with wooden pile for foundations. I don't blame anything on money, but as you said, good planning requires more than maximum hordes of visitors.

Posted by
6 posts

If a US recession is in play and also a world recession is in play, that alone will determine tourism.

I just had my RS June Europe tour cancelled and I am more concerned how all of this social distancing will turn out for June 2021? For example, I am hearing that concerts in the US is not expected to come back until Fall 2021. I want to rebook the tour for June 2021, but who knows. I realize I have to give it more time with a wait and see.

Be safe!

Posted by
1401 posts

If a US recession is in play and also a world recession is in play,
that alone will determine tourism.

Recessions come and go and stops tourism short term, it doesn't do anything to improve it for the future. Edinburgh for one insists it's sticking to its 10 year plan for tourist/resident balance, but will others that desperately need tourism tax dollars be so disciplined? In places such as Venice, Santorini and Dubrovnik, what happens when the income generated totally dries up? Do they have plans for a sustainable future or do they panic and decide things weren't so bad after all?

Posted by
3524 posts

Edinburgh has been a big location for ghost tours. At some point in the future, enterprising tour leaders may promote - hopefully not ghoulish - pandemic tours.