1. For ultra-popular attractions (Venice, Maya Bay...), keep jacking up the prices until the tourist flow trickles down to what can be sustained at those places. In case that sounds elitist, have supplemental measures like first-come first-served permits (like the ones at Half Dome, Yosemite) or procedural barriers which only the most committed ones would jump through.
2. Popularize hitherto unknown destinations. I am sure there are tons of gems in "the middle of nowhere". Spread the tourism everywhere around the globe, which will be appreciated by regions looking for economic boosts. Maybe, there are even known techniques like opening up non-stop flights from hotspot tourist sources (Beijing? Shanghai? Delhi?) or filming popular movies at such locations (like The Beach from TFA).
Rather, unknown destinations need to remain unknown. (by this, I mean secret trails, waterfalls, beaches, etc). I think locals should take steps to protect them, including removing trail markers and trash, and refusing to talk about them. Erase trip reports from the internet, and actively fight to keep them secret and protected. Problem is, any possible "cool thing" is economically exploitable--and the economy absolutely will exploit it in the end.
For #1, you realize that the same problem applies right? Economic incentives are all completely against this.
"Economic exploitation" and "people enjoying the place" are the same thing. A beach with one person rather than 300 is great if you're that one person, but it sucks for the other 299.
> For #1, you realize that the same problem applies right? Economic incentives are all completely against this.
Not convinced. People are willing to pay a premium for a site in good condition, with enough space to explore, and exclusivity is a bonus in some circles. If you jack the price up by a factor of 10 (which may sound ridiculous, but look at the price of Everest climbing permits) and only 1/5th as many people come, that's a profit for you and fewer people coming.
Locals in poor areas will always prefer a few years of selling out to tourists to long term sustainability: kids need education now, you want to rainproof your house now or in essence: you want to better your life now.
For them, there is not a single incentive to follow your advice.
NB I seem to me relatively immune to midges, but I do seem to be popular with clegs and ticks :-(
There's a lottery system, then a small number of tickets are given out on a first come first serve basis from the ranger stations on the day of.
That won't work for venice, but for beaches you could just make sure the only way to reach them is a 5km foot path, and don't allow guided tours.
I'm pretty sure that would make visitor numbers drop to sustainable levels automatically, and people who really want to can still go.
Here in the alps we also have lots of tourism, but as soon as you are an hour walk away from a parking lot, the masses are gone.
What I'm trying to say: Don't forbid visiting the beach; just make sure it's a bit inconvenient.
I'm sure there are indeed tons of gems in the middle of nowhere. A few will find them by themselves, and they'll stay gems. Anywhere and everywhere that gets popularised gets ruined, or well on the way to it. The very reason to go is eroded out of existence.
A few will popularise naturally, which is probably the only sustainable way to go.
Croatia, Georgia, Estonia and others have all been opened up substantially by cheaper airfares.
Also, there is no power at night (generator and solar powered) the reactions I get are telling; European friends are really keen, American friends are aghast at the lack of air conditioning. Like how will they charge up their electronics.
There are 100 reasons to visit Thailand, and this is a shitty one. It's a nice beach, but there's plenty of nicer ones not even that far away from it
I was there yesterday, and was devastated to see that the new rules re beach/boat access are being broken. Several longtails/speedboats had tied to the buoyed demarcation line... which has been moved closer to the beach btw, and were inside the exclusion zone. Also, tour boats that were on mooring balls were belching filthy diesel exhaust fumes, leaving an oily film floating on the water. Add to that the plastic debris floating around, and it’s as disappointing as it has been for the 8 years I’ve known it. 2 boats actually landed on the beach, with the passengers walking around on the sand/in the water. Where were the rangers? Their boat was there, but not a ranger to be seen. They’re usually very quick to appear, to ask for the National Park payment. I’m happy to pay, although I have questioned before why the rubbish is in overflowing sacks on the small adjoining beach on Maya Bay. I think this is just a PR stunt, not a real effort. Come on Phuket/Krabi, you could do so much better.
So, the ground truth seems to be that this is little more than a PR effort. For my part, I’ve seen the rangers just burning and/or just heaping up trash a few meters inland from the beach on multiple “pristine” islands.
I'm glad they were able to nurse the coral back in a decade, but it just seems cynical to invest so much into 300 feet of beach and the comodifiy it. But if that is the only way to preserve it... It's like the hunter paradox: they claim hunting funds conservation. Or like the clearing the forest to keep it from burning paradox. Which forest rangers support. Maybe this is what sustainability looks like: having to just clean up after shitty humans day in, day out.
Did anyone else find the UI scroll reveals incredibly annoying?
I actually thought the article ended when I hit one of those full page reveal things. Terrible way to present information.
Yeah, it disrupted the flow so reduced my comprehension and retention of the article. A shame: someone went to a lot of work, but made the article worse.
I actually liked the implementation in this case. Felt a bit more interactive.
I'm glad I experienced a few locations before they became commercialised and before I stopped flying.
If I wanted an isolated, pristine beach I wouldn't pick one made globally famous. I'd actively avoid it.
I always thought the book had its own set of ironies, in that this perfect beach existed, and it was the people that brought their troubles and fucked it up, regardless of how ideologically superior they thought they were.
I resisted Krabi again 10 years later and was horrified. There was a McDonalds and Starbucks etc. Koh Poda was full of boats, dirty water and worst of all a literal rubbish dump of plastic further into the island. The Thais do not take care of the wonderful land they have.
I've found that people are reluctant to litter on a clean beach yet unthinkingly do it if the beach is already visibly trashy. So the strategy is to get a beach clean enough where it is obviously not OK to trash it. People will get it.
I once did a workshop on culture and common sense. It was in Japan and 50% of the audience was Japanese while 50% were from an English speaking country. I asked them to split up into groups, again 50-50 and debate what is better: standing up to take a shower or sitting down to take a shower (Japanese people tend to sit on small stools while showering). I had to break it up after less than 10 minutes because people were about to come to blows.
Common sense is the thing that people use when they don't actually have a reason for something. It's heavily influenced by culture and sometimes there is absolutely no justification for it. It's just the way you do it. When you ask why you do it like that, the answer is always "It's common sense". If you push and try to get a reason, people will come up with reasons, but are often surprisingly aggressive in their responses. Counter acting that cultural common sense is like a personal attack to many people.
Most people I know (from any country) value animal lives. However, they often express that in bizarre ways if you look at it logically. It's that cultural common sense. Would you put a glue trap down for a mouse and have it dehydrate to death (unbelievable suffering)? Would you do it for a kitten? There's no real reason for the difference. Common sense short circuits our reasoning, unfortunately.
Perhaps people need all of this to keep their sanity. You just can not live in a complex world without these automatic cultural behaviours. For same people it seems to be quite hard to be concious about these in a way arbitary behaviours, without literally loosing their minds.
So unfortunately there might be a limit for quite a few people how much they can take in this regard, because it certainly would help quite a lot for increasing the tolerance and the understanding of different cultures.
I don't wanna be condescending or saying i'm better in any way. I have learned a lot over the years and grew.
I have never thrown trash on the floor but that is thanks to my mum and her 'teachings'.
My biggest issue with this is not necessarily that we kill our environment (worst case we 'used it up' we die and it might just come back) but i never stooped learning or being critical about something. You see so many people who got stuck and lots of those people got stuck on different things or habits or lives.
It took a long time and lots of rethinking about things, what if those people (few or many) will never reach this necessary level and we (the 'other') have to force them through zeitgeist / laws / punshiment?
Even if you have everyone reaching that necessary level, you will always have people in between. Shouldn't we start thinking on teaching live skills relevant for all of us?
I don't know you and so I'll take your statement that you never stopped learning or being critical about something at face value. The thing is everybody thinks they are the same! If I accused you of not being critical, of unconsciously accepting superficial information and wielding it as if it were gospel, you can imagine how you would feel. This is a deeply threatening accusation.
The end result is that I can't effectively have that discussion. Has anybody here really (other than you, potentially) looked at their effect on the environment? Have they every thought about the impact that buying a new pair of trousers has? Or heating their house above 10 degrees? Or accepting sidewalks be built outside of their house (not to mention roads)?
I'm being extreme to try to illuminate a point. I don't know anyone who has ever even tried to find out what those impacts are. "My bare minimum standard of living has got to be OK" is just more common sense and we all do it. It's easy to draw the line somewhere and rationalise that the other guy has it wrong -- because they almost certainly do! It's much harder to be introspective and say, "Hey I have no idea what's going on here and mostly I'm going on hope that what I'm doing is OK". Even to suggest that concept to people is to provoke anger (and I really hope I have avoided doing that in you).
It's that anger that I don't know what to do with. There is no problem in saying, "OK, I've done the math and here is exactly the impact of my lifestyle and if everybody follows that lifestyle I can show that the planet will be OK" (well, really more than "no problem" if you can actually do it ;-) ). I'm sure you've tried suggesting to people ways of improving their lifestyle. What is always the response? "Don't be ridiculous.", followed by a lot of rationalisation. And if I say that even you with your enlightened ways are causing problems at about the same level of magnitude as others, then I am quite certain the response will be anger and a feeling of "Don't be ridiculous". The fact that such a comment from me would be completely unjustified is somewhat beside the point. Do you really know, or do you just hope that it's wrong? And if it's the latter, can you get beyond the anger of the accusation to improve? And even if you can, can you teach others to do it as well?
That's the problem that has been going through my head for a decade. While I've thrown some mighty accusations in your direction, I hope you realise that I'm not really accusing you of anything. These are the accusations I threw at myself. These are the areas where I realised that I was wanting. While you may be the first exception, I've yet to meet anybody who hasn't been found wanting in this area, so I'm still at a loss.
Yes, everybody has to be ignorant about quite a few things. In a complex world it is just not possible the other way, without getting insane or having a very miserable life. You can also become a quite misanthropic person, which at the end does not help you, other people or the world in any way.
But this also helps me to be more empathic for people, because if they are ignorant about something I care a lot does not automatically mean that they are a ignorant person, they might care about a lot of other things I am ignorant about.
Also I do not think that most people are doing something on purpose. In most cases they are just used doing it that way and not thinking about it. It would be nice if people would think more about their actions, but there just might be limits how much the average person is able doing this.
Acknowledging this also helps me being more empathic. I do not think the single person is the problem, but the culture they are living in, so helping to change this culture is the way to go. People will just follow the cultural changes.
But these are longterm changes and for the shortterm there is only empathy that helps.
I was not very good in understanding the world around me, so i analyzed it and thought about a lot of stuff. Like debugging a computer program. My mental model is based on logic and on logic reasoning (of course not all actions, after all i'm a human being).
Religion is a easy target/example: It doesn't make sense as at the end of it, there is only faith. What i also didn't understood where contradicting beliefs: If i believe in religion i should submit to it. Like if you are not allowed to drink alcohol, you don't do it and if you don't wanna do it, you leave the religion. (there are probably more / better examples but religios people often contradict themselves much more often).
Anyway my worldview is based on that, therefore i also act on it. I don't believe so i left church.
But most of us don't build there worldview on logic but on what they see and experience. Those unlogical worldviews are not rational, not comparable and from person to person different. There is no issue for person a to throw that shit on the floor.
This helped me to understand those people better.
Now on how to interact with them: There are traingings in my exising and previous companies which go in directions of: Leadership, Sales, Teamwork, Conflict management etc. Those and similiar books and 'tips/tricks' for how to get people to accept your viewpoint or make them help you, are tools for me to try a non direct logical approach to those issues when you have a good argument or objective points and they just hit that wall.
Start not with the main point of the argument but nitpick small things which are easy to agree. Climate change: Do you see any issue in planting trees? Do you think in general, independend of climate change that it is not a waste to plant trees.
Or find different angles: When you drive a car, you do recognise that you do produce gases, right? What happens when you sit in your car and only breeth the exhaust fumes? You probably die right? So in general reducing those gases should be a good thing for our health right?
Or if you have an idea and some has only the negative viewpoint: Its a good idea but it will not work because of x. Okay that might be but if we start with y and the risk/cost is very low, do you have anything against it?
Or trying to get the other person on board: Hi, i'm super sry but i have this problem xy and perhaps you have an idea which can help me? Instead of "Hi, i need this".
Not sure how well i transported those ideas and concepts.
This gets much more difficult on bigger scale. But you see the Zeitgeist changing in our society. Frustrating slowly but i hope and believe that everyone who promotes it, lifes it and demands it, has an impact on it.
We will see.
My experience in Berlin from approaching people littering is that they're mostly not German. And what's fascinating, they're actually proud of their littering.
Caveat: we're probably both suffering from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confirmation_bias .