1 minute reading time (264 words)

Tourism is Tourism

As parts of the world shyly reopen for tourism, I read about two assassination attempts yesterday, one unfortunately successful.... They are, of course, totally unconnected, however if one starts thinking about it, there are similarities: two islands (or archipelagos), both well-known tourism destinations, and two victims involved in tourism, making inquiries or allegations against others working in tourism: The Maldives and the Ionian island of Zakynthos or Zante. In the former, the past president Mohamed Nasheed, overthrown by a coup in 2012, and a vocal advocate for action against climate change, was critically injured in a bomb blast. The Guardian reports that the assassination attempt may be connected to his anti-corruption drive and in particular his investigation into how USD 90m went missing from the Tourism Marketing Board of the Maldives. The victim on Zakynthos was Dimis Korfiatis, 53, a local entrepreneur who among other things, according to ErmisNews, a local news portal, owned a hotel and a submarine that conducts sea turtle watching tours in the National Marine Park. Allegedly, he had made various revelations to the police about protection rackets on the island. The bigger picture: "Tourism" is not inherently good or bad, it is just a term that describes an agglomeration of sectors and activities, good and bad, legal and illegal, ethical and unethical. Something for all of us to remember when reading or writing phrases like "Tourism is/should/could be a force for XYZ". Rather, Tourism is Tourism, Agriculture is Agriculture and Transport is Transport. Tourism will not save the world. On the other hand, a better Tourism is both possible and necessary!

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