Category Archives: mass tourism

Pity us tourists

We are not really enjoying ourselves. Our tourism, writes Dalrymple,

is the extension of office work by other means.

It is like

ticking off a box on some footling form devised by a committee of bureaucrats.

If the increase in air fares consequent upon the epidemic releases us from our

duty to perform sightseeing duties so far from home, at such great effort and with neither pleasure nor instruction, the virus will have done some slight good.

Dalrymple says that

most places worth going to are not worth going to because of the numbers of people who go to them.

When travel narrows the mind

Dalrymple writes that there is nothing like mass travel for

destroying the value—educational, spiritual, æsthetic—of travel.

He notes also that there is no reason to suppose

that other cultures, when found, will necessarily meet with travellers’ approval rather than with, say, disgust.

He points out that when Sayyid Quṭb went to the USA,

it closed his mind forever.

And when Dalrymple visited North Korea,

it did not cause me to respect North Korean culture, which is a permanent mixture of Nuremberg Rally and Busby Berkeley, but to view it with horror and detestation.