Sunday, January 27, 2008

Educating Tourists

Earlier this month, "seven indigenous people from Raposa Serra do Sol land were detained and abused by Brazil’s Federal Police after inspecting and promoting cultural awareness among tourists at Caracarana Lake, an area that’s frequently promoted in tourist packages." It sounds from this story, that these folks were creatively intervening in "tourist spaces" in order to educate tourists about the effects they have on the people who live there, before the authorities brutally acted on some complaints from tourists who didn't appreciate the lessons.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

The U.S. Has Charm?

We've been pretty busy recently, so our posting duties have been neglected. One quick comment on a story by the New York Times (yes, we're actually sorry we refer to the NYT so much) about U.S. city and state efforts to boost tourism. The story points to the nose dive of the dollar and the attraction that its demise should have for foreign tourists bringing more competitive currencies. The author points out however, that the decline in U.S. tourism since 9.11 has however not quite recovered. Apparently, the U.S. is an odd ball when it comes to global tourism, as it doesn't have a centralized tourism bureau (although this is in the works).
What the story doesn't discuss, not surprisingly, is the impact of U.S. policies on visitation of various kinds. Seems like the number of people visiting the U.S. might drop if it is made more difficult for them to visit, no?
On another note, the Travel Office has some great stuff coming up! We're excited to be a part of a weekend-long event at the fabulous community art space Mess Hall in Rogers Park, Chicago. In late February, we'll be presenting our own form of tourism to the art department at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. And in March, we are extremely excited to join our friends Temporary Services and the Futurefarmers for a weekend of events and discussions at Pasadena City College organized and hosted by Deena Capparelli and Claude Willey. We'll (with the help of artist Sarah Ross) be giving an experimental tour of Exposition Park in South Los Angeles, as the first in a series of explorations of the global Olympiad.
Happy travels in 2008!