A thought-provoking article about cities like ours that are in danger of being submerged by a new level and type of tourism:
“You could say quality tourism people travel because they’re inquisitive and want to learn,” says Stephen Hodes, founder of local tourism think tank Amsterdam in Progress. “Unfortunately, that kind of tourism is on the downward trend. The new tourists are the status seekers, who travel because it’s good for the way other people perceive them. They’re people who go to sites, take a selfie first to show they’ve have been there, and otherwise aren’t interested.”
This might be annoying, but you can’t legislate against disinterest. What you can do, Udo says, is channel and distribute people more effectively. Even people who say they want an authentic local experience can fall unwittingly into a tourist rut. People who want to be responsible can, for example, cause hold-ups by riding bikes during morning rush hour.
“If you look at factual data, people behave very much alike,” she says. “Many people go to the Van Gogh Museum in the morning, and on a canal boat in the afternoon. That puts pressure on the city at certain places in certain moments, which can end up creating collisions with the locals.”
The city is thus in the process of tailoring its “I Amsterdam” app to match suggestions to visitors’ tastes, and recommend activities at times when they’re not normally full of people.
This idea is one that I have floated in the past for New Orleans. For example, why not a tourist pass for streetcars that operate every 15 minutes with guides, music, and selfie opportunities to alleviate the pressure on the other cars needed for locals?
It’s time that New Orleans begin to direct this non-stop rush of people into better organized events in the French Market area for those tourists who want to eat and drink in a festival space, reward business with special signs and other incentives in FQ, Treme, and Marigny that are willing to offer detailed assistance for visitors , add hotel-based education videos in lobbies and elevators of hotels warning of fines for tourists who engage in casual vandalism, noise at late hours or litter*.
and one more thing: Allow locals to do “mystery shops” on tour guides with loss of license as the punishment for continued historical inaccuracies with and assigned online classes to keep one’s license.
- there also needs to be cardboard trash containers added every 2 blocks on Fri-Sun in the FQ, Marigny Triangle, and CBD.
Latest news from our mayor: She has put a stop to the ridiculous idea of one of our newer, (actually pretty good) all-woman parades who wanted to have a “bridge from one Mardi Gras to the next” by adding a JULY parade.
Hey Nyx- We ain’t buying your bridge. Nice try though.