Several Authors, How Tourists Are Destroying the Places They Love, Der Spiegel, August 21, 2018
For residents of Porto, however, the bookstore has a different story to tell. It is one of economic upswing in a country that was in the throes of crisis not all that long ago. Indeed, Portugal owes its recovery in part to double-digit growth in tourism, including in the areas in the once impoverished north around Porto. Ryanair and EasyJet have been flying to the city for years, and it has long been regarded as the new in-spot for city-escape tourism. Last year, around 2.5 million foreign tourists visited the region, and half of them visited Livraria Lello. Porto still hasn’t become as overrun as places like Barcelona or Amsterdam, cities where locals have begun defending themselves against the hordes of tourists who seem to be taking over. But a divide has developed in Porto — between the tourist city and the city for locals. One can’t help but wonder when a local last visited Livraria Lello. Do Porto residents also have to stand in line and pay five euros?
Through the WI Lens
Over the past weeks, we’ve read dozens of articles on the rising backlash against tourism. This one is a little long (around 15 min) but particularly well researched. Mass tourism has created over-tourism, and in many beautiful spots the infrastructure and the local population are buckling under the pressure and the predatory nature of modern tourism. The travel industry is choking on its own success: “Tourism is a phenomenon that creates many private profits but also many socialized losses.”
“On such fragile foundations are built the first steps towards a more ethical kind of business, and who knows what virtuous circles might result?”
“Scientific evidence recently emerged that, contrary to earlier beliefs, Covid-19 can be spread by tiny droplets that we breathe out when we respire, called aerosols.”
“Economic wellbeing is part of the story, but it is also about finding less stressful lifestyles, in which healthy diet figures as a meaningful measure of success.”
“The industry has every asset needed to be a guiding light in the shift toward personal health priority. Will that become a prevention legacy, a ‘phoenix rising’ from the Covid-19 ashes?”
“Looking at the bigger picture, putting the measures in this order represents a lost opportunity that the pandemic could have offered for a cultural pivot pivot towards getting people more focused on their health, a powerful statement of intent.”
“Employment is necessary to fulfil our most basic human needs such as food and shelter. Any significant increase in long-term unemployment will spell a retrograde step for human wellbeing like no other.”
“All roads lead to a wellbeing anchor, whether that be economic/financial, physical, mental or emotional: all contribute to a progressive and inclusive cosmopolitan world. The answer should not be a choice of one or the other but of a joined up and compassionate solution for society, business and individuals.”
“The paradox is that we continue to do this in spite of recognising that striving to become ever-more productive is an intrinsically unhealthy behaviour, leading to stress and too often, a sense of failure.”
“The same broad-sweeping structural racism that enables police brutality against black Americans is also responsible for higher mortality among black Americans with Covid-19,” Maimuna Majumder, a Harvard epidemiologist working on the Covid-19 response, tells Vox.
The take-out from this? Wellbeing cannot exist at a more elevated level without our basic needs being met.