UPDATE: It's World Tourism Day -- here's how not to be an 'ugly American' on vacation
By MarketWatch, MarketWatch
Advice for travelers following anti-tourism marches across Europe
Tourism is the third largest export industry in the world after chemicals and fuels, but what is it doing to improve the future of everyone on the planet? That's the question United Nations Secretary-General Taleb Rifai posed in his message celebrating World Tourism Day (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yI73O1JewCs) (Sept. 27).
"How can we enable this powerful global transformative force...to contribute to make the world a better place?" Rifai asked, calling for 2017 to be a year of tourism that is sustainable, yet also creates jobs and preserves culture. "This World Tourism Day, whenever you travel, wherever you travel, remember to respect nature, respect culture, respect your host. You can be the change you want to see in the world."
Rifai's comments seemed to echo some of the ire that fueled anti-tourism protests earlier this summer in cities and towns across Europe, including Mallorca and San Sebastian and Semana Grande in Spain. Locals also marched in Venice, The Guardian reported (https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2017/aug/10/anti-tourism-marches-spread-across-europe-venice-barcelona), protesting rising rents as visitors look on home-sharing sites like Airbnb and HomeAway.com. New York and San Francisco have also grappled (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/new-york-could-learn-from-san-francisco-on-how-to-treat-airbnb-hosts-2015-12-02) with the influx of visitors staying in Airbnb rentals, which some locals say have pushed up rental prices in popular neighborhoods. New York has stricter rules than San Francisco about short-term rentals.
And they are the least of some residents' worries every summer when tourists descend on their cities, with public drunkenness and, in some cases, graffiti on historic artifacts and buildings (http://blogs.marketwatch.com/thetell/2013/05/27/china-in-uproar-over-egyptian-vandalism/). Cheap accommodations and low-frills travel have brought bachelor and bachelorette parties to many popular tourist destinations from Miami and New York to Dublin and Barcelona. In fact, an allegedly rowdy (and drunken) bachelorette party was escorted off a Ryanair flight last month (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4739320/Passengers-CHEER-British-hen-party-forced-flight.html) from Liverpool to Alicante to cheers from fellow passengers.
Here are six ways to avoid acting like a jerk and alienating the locals:
Keep it together on the plane