Tonawanda News — Granted, standing in line to ascend the Eiffel Tower, and looking at a screen depicting the line of tourists awaiting the same, are not the same thing. It’s close enough, though, when you factor in the euros and the hours and the inconvenience.
I’ve been to Las Vegas, a number of times. Fascinating place, but lately every part of America is becoming more like Las Vegas. Do some gambling, see a show. Everyone is within driving distance of that experience, now.
So, why is the tourism industry thriving?
Well, not every potential customer is as jaded and worn as I am, some customers have families whose lust for exploring the world won’t be satisfied until the family visits Disney World, and more and more places have potentially marketable attractions; it was only two years ago that Buffalo realized all those old brick buildings, the ones the city had not gotten around to flattening, made some “architectural tourism” adherents nearly faint with excitement.
Marketable attractions now include “eco-tourism,” wherein tourists visit alleged jungles, deserts and other environmentally pristine places somehow shorn of their danger and menace to better accommodate people with money.
What you are going to drop everything in your life to see, you over there with the luggage, is becoming less and less authentic, more and more expensive, and less and less worth the effort. Boarding an airplane to see a loved one, I can understand; taking a trip to see your idea of Paris and noting the 21st century version of the place doesn’t square with the romantic notion in your head that somehow includes Angelina Jolie and a Ferrari, well ...
With the Web, and those cameras all over the place, I feel I am not missing much by staying in one place while the world comes to me. Factor in television, the ability to read, a variety of communication methods to contact friends all over the world, local purveyors of exotic foreign food and plenty of available teaching on how to prepare it, the availability of worldwide music and talk on Internet radio; what am I missing when you board the plane for Rome or Dubrovnik or Haifa, and I don’t?