Have you ever come across misbehaving tourists....or perhaps been one? - Have you ever come across misbehaving tourists....or perhaps been one? - Network - Tourist

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Have you ever come across misbehaving tourists....or perhaps been one?

Well, my colleagues Eva and Jarmo and I went to the Netherlands last summer, and came across some tourist misbehaviour. We got so interested in the topic that we wrote a blog post about it: https://esignals.haaga-helia.fi/en/2019/08/29/misbehaving-tourists/

Tourists are often blamed for strange behaviour, but they are not always just stupid or rude. There may be other reasons. As always, better communication and cooperations should help. Or do you have a better idea?

Dear Annika, we had a big discussion some years ago when the destination managers of Zell am See, a region very much prefered by guests from arabian counrtries, developed a little guide for their arabian customers in order to tell them about adequate behaviour. The result was a very strong discussion and finally a condemnation of this way as, according to the mainstream argument, it might be rude to tell customers paying a lot of money for their hollidays how to behave.

I find this ashaming to make a destination to a colony of visitors. To my deep conviction, the only legitimity of tourism is its efford to make the living of locals possible, but not to hinder it.
Of course, it is always a process of mutual interaction and mutual learning, but also of mutual emancipation. To be a bit harsh and provocative:
Locals of a destination who accept rude behaviour of visitors are selling themselve, giving up their dignity and their identity.
If the alternative would be to move away to a mega-city in order to find some employment.... then there might be little choice.
But to "sell" a vital destination for every price to any visitor is - to my conviction - not sustainable at all: It undermines the dignity, the authenticity and the value of a destination.
There is an analogy to the "games" between two lovers: If one part of a couple is giving "everything" to cheap, it will lose its attraction and soon, will be replaced. Attractivity means also, to a certain part, to be "rare", "special" and not to easy to get...

Ceterum censeo mutationem climae esse vincendem.

(Incidentally, I think that global warming must be defeated) 

 

Prof. (FH) Mag. Mag. Dr. Harald A. Friedl
Assoc. Professor for Sustainability and Ethics in Tourism
Institute for  Health and Tourism Management
FH JOANNEUM - University of Applied Sciences
Kaiser-Franz-Josef-Straße 24
8344 Bad Gleichenberg, Austria
Phone office +43-316/5453-6725
Phone mobil: +43-699/191.44.250
eMail: harald.friedl@fh-joanneum.at
Web: www.fh-joanneum.at/GMT

 

There are numerous instances in SE Asia, of tourists "offending" behavior and cultural insensitivity.  I think this issue needs to be addressed by both sides....the destination and the visitor. Thai culture is so different from "Western" culture that tourists should take responsibility for educating themselves about cultural norms and expected behaviour. That said, we in Thailand also need to understand these differences and be able to politely educate tourists if they are causing offense...I remember one of the examples given in our training of the pledge tourists are asked to sign when arriving (can't remember the island country). How about showing a similar video on flights into a destination which educate visitors? Does anybody know if this is being done somewhere?

Dear Mike, dear all,

I like very much your idea about "How about showing a similar video on flights into a destination which educate visitors?"

Actually, the Thailand-founded NGO ECPAT has initiated an campaigne some years ago to show videos on flights in order to sensitize customers for critical incidents where children could be threatened by sexual abuse. Something about cultural awareness would be nice, but this is a critical challeng. I am giving courses in cutural awareness for the Austrian peace troops since more then 12 years, where each course lasts for 4 hours - which is not a lot. Learning about well applied behaviour within a 10-30 second spot is very challenging.

In tourguiding books, chapters about this issue are already standard in the German speaking market.

Finally, it is all about human change. And I think that we have to accept that we can't change systems (and a brain is a system), only influence or irritate it... A never ending story, but this is the case with such a big thing like sustainability anyway 😉

 

Ceterum censeo mutationem climae esse vincendem.

(Incidentally, I think that global warming must be defeated) 

 

Prof. (FH) Mag. Mag. Dr. Harald A. Friedl
Assoc. Professor for Sustainability and Ethics in Tourism
Institute for  Health and Tourism Management
FH JOANNEUM - University of Applied Sciences
Kaiser-Franz-Josef-Straße 24
8344 Bad Gleichenberg, Austria
Phone office +43-316/5453-6725
Phone mobil: +43-699/191.44.250
eMail: harald.friedl@fh-joanneum.at
Web: www.fh-joanneum.at/GMT

 

One of the paper subnitted to our 2nd TOURIST conference is related to this topic. The paper will focus on Chinese tourists behaviour which are percieved by residents and other chinese tourists.

Long time ago, dated back to year 2005, Yoel Mansfeld, Professor of Haifa University, Israel gave me a reflection on his observation at Kao Sarn road trip. He noticed the sign in  some guesthouses in the area  "No Israel tourists are welcome" and he disagreed the way the business settings had dealt with the Israel tourists. With his inspirition, I and my students in Tourist behaviour class then conducted a study by interviewing some businessmen running guesthouses and restaurants in kao Sarn road. We learned which nationalities were perceived good and bad by business settings and also found some misconducts were  related to particular nationalities.  I believed a few tourists conducted misbehaviour but, in Thai proverb, "One rotten fish makes the whole catch stink".

These misconducts were personal and could be cultural  (gap). Doesn't matter whatevre, visitor management through soft measure e.g. education as above mentioned by Harry and Mike should be the prior proper way !