Alain De Botton wrote on the problems of tourism and what still needs to change.
This is a huge goal of mine. It's what my photography workshops, here in Genova, are all about ... they're about learning basic photography but then they're also about strangers talking to one another, going behind-the-scenes, spending time with local people and really learning about the culture here in this city I love so very passionately.
THE LONGING TO TALK TO STRANGERS ABROAD
The tourist industry has been spectacularly successful at opening up foreign countries and introducing us to their most important and worthwhile attractions.
Except for one extraordinary omission: the people. By some unseen, undiscussed but all-powerful rule, tourism tends to separate us from the inhabitants of the countries we’ve come to visit. They remain shadowy, occasional figures: the guy by the pool, the taxi-driver from the airport, the nice lady who took us on the trip through the forest. But the real focus is always elsewhere, on the culture and the monuments, the natural spectacles and the food.
This is a source of serious sadness. Most of the places we want to travel to are associated with a distinctive way of being: an implicit personality. In New York, it might be confidence and modernity; in Amsterdam, the dignity of daily life; in Melbourne, a welcome directness and warmth. It’s a range of human virtues that draw us to places, but we’re normally only permitted to encounter these via their external, cultural expressions. We don’t really want to shop or see pictures; we want to talk.
Yet we remain - painfully - outsiders...
Alain De Botton, Facebook post.