Today is The World Tourism Day. Maybe it doesn’t seems like a big deal at all. Just a normal day. But tourism is a huge boom for a few years now, and it is shaping and changing the world in many ways.
Do you like to travel? I do, very much. In fact, it is the only thing I’d like to do most of my days. Learn through experience, and discover places I’ve never been to. My ultimate travel dream is to hit the road in a caravan (but only in case I don’t have to drive) and enjoy the journey.
Barcelona airport story
The journey is sometimes much more interesting than the destination, because so many things can happen to you. For example, when me and my girl friends went to Barcelona, three of us were flying from Slovakia, and one of us from Munich. When we arrived to the airport we couldn’t find each other. We told our friend that we are “just by the huge black horse” statue, which was in the hall by the arrivals. She said she can’t see it. Then, when I called her, she said she is by Jamaica cafe. I could see the cafe, but I couldn’t see my friend. Then we finally (after like 15 minutes) discovered she landed in different Terminal. We had to get a bus and travel for about 10 minutes to get to her. It was already in Barcelona, but technically, we were still on the road. At least the two of my friends learned how to say “We are waiting by the big black horse.” in Spanish, while I was trying to figure out how to find our lost friend.
Tourism as a negative force in people’s minds
We went to Barcelona about a month ago. To the city, which during this summer had the biggest anti tourism campaign.
What I loved about the city:
my travel company
the history of the city
the old town
the mint chocolate ice cream
and the really bad bar crawl we went to
It was so much fun! BUT I would NOT go again.
What I didn’t like about the city, and why is explained below
Being one of the tourists there, I’m not even surprised they have such campaign. From the tourist point of view, here is why I think so:
There are crowds of people everywhere – Just imagine you have to go every day to work, in crowded streets full of tourist, who do not care this is your daily life. You have to deal with the crowd on daily basis coming to, and from work. The street La Rambla, and The Market called La Boqueira is honestly a little annoying. SO MANY people are there. You can’t move, nobody cares if the cars are on the road, if it’s a green or red light. Two weeks before our holiday the van hit this road (La Rambla), and injured and killed many people. My mum told me to just be aware of our surroundings, even though it’s a place where we’ve never been to. With this many people on the streets, it it impossible to be aware of surroundings. You don’t notice anything else than the people. (Except the little cute cactus magnets in souvenirs shops)
The food in the restaurants is expensive, and the quality is not so good. Only one meal stayed in my mind. I can’t remember the name of the restaurant, but it was on the way from the city to the Barceloneta beach. We had paella. The restaurants were either dirty, or just way too expensive for our budget. What I did enjoy though was the ice cream. I love this sweet heaven product all year round. Especially the mint chocolate with choco pieces.
I have to say, that we only went to the city beach, so I’m not talking about all of them. The city beach wasn’t nice. It was dirty, and the sea smelled. I’m not being fussy traveler at all, but I didn’t like it there during the day. During the evening with the moon on the sky, it was much better. I also have to mention that when you’re in the city beach, people will try and sell you stuff all the time. If you buy something of them, they will come back all the time to sell you even more stuff. They even bargain with themselves. Example:
Person: “Do you want a beer? It’s only 8 Euros for 6″
Person: “Oh, okay then, it’s only 5 Euros for 6.” So we took it. But can’t really say that our bargaining skills improved during this short conversation.
Now I’m not going to talk about homeless people in real trouble begging for money, because they actually need some. What was beyond my understanding was this lady in the centre of Barcelona, standing in front of gorgeous Cathedral begging for money. She was all dressed up in flowers, and for that, she expected people to give her money. Looking at it, again from the tourist point of view. She was there for some reason right? The reason was, that people probably gave her the money, so she expected them. We “tourists” don’t like beggars, but we are the ones who created them, who gave them the idea they can get some money from us.
To wrap it all up
I was really lucky to be there with my girl friends, because we laughed on everything, we genuinely had a good time, and experienced many things in such a short time. So overall the trip was great. I had big expectations of the place, because I briefly went there once for work, and was a little bit disappointed. This is my view of the city, and I know that many feel differently. But I just wouldn’t go again. It was also my birthday gift from my friends, which I have to say I appreciate, and it was the best they could ever give me.
What can World Tourism Day mean?
There really are many reasons why people travel. But as a travelers or tourist (call yourself whatever you want) I think we should be more considerable to the places we visit. Sometimes I think that people don’t really care about their behaviour and their actions when they’re not home. Some people may even feel that they have the right to be pain in the ass because they are the ones who are paying the money. So the economy is better, and people can have better jobs. This is true in many cases, and in many countries, but there are other things that have to be considered. Like for example, do not make the people in our favourite destinations to hate us, because we don’t know what to do with ourselves when we’re not at home.