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Tourism and Modernity


With the emergence of modernity, people started to consider tourism not only psychological and physical necessity, but also sociological tool. In previous years, people could not travel to other places without any prominent reasons such as war, flood, drought and pestilence. Travelling to other regions was considered as a luxury of people since others have not had the economic flexibilities. Crick says that tourism represents the largest movement of human populations outside wartime (1989:310). Now, there are more diversities of tourism apart from economic. The sociological part of it is also very important. However, there are both negative and positive consequences of tourism which are really undeniable. In our day and age, people are trying to render every item of culture ''touristifiable'' which means that attract tourists' attention. Since they want to get benefit out of the good consequences of tourism, here, it is of course financial benefit of it.

There are many definitions of tourism and tourist. Moreover, some people approach the concept of tourist with it different dimensions. As we know, in Oxford English Dictionaries, the synonym for tourist is traveller. However, the word of tourist has a negative impression on people. Thus, they prefer to use ''traveller''. In 1968, IUOTO has used ''visitor'', nonetheless, UN recommended that ''visitor'' should be categorized in two: ''tourists'' and ''excursionists''. According to their definition, a tourist should be visiting a place at least twenty four hours and an excursionist should not exceed 24 hours while visiting. They included people who travel to make business with tourists. However, Nash and V. Smith did not accept that business travellers are tourists since they both agreed that tourism should have the elements of travel and leisure. On the other hand, Cohen had noted that there are basic features of tourist. First of all, a tourist should be a temporal travel, that is to say, they should not be staying a place permanently. A tourist should travel voluntarily; s/he should not to be forced to travel. A tourist should on a round trip, s/he should not be emigrant that goes to a one direction and s/he should not be the holiday house owner in order to be a tourist. Although Cohen has defined tourist well, he still find the boundaries between tourist and non-tourist blurred.

We all know that tourism stands as a modern and sociological need of humanity in today's world. There are much more reasons of tourism other then psychological and physical need. The need of tourism has been affected by social norms, values and people in our environment. So, we can say that tourism may be a consequence of competition, envy, incitement among society or economic conditions. Beyond all question, pleasure has become an indicator of modern tourism. People have the right of movement and it's a very normal thing in these years. Since tourism has been seen as a ''social right'', it seemed as ''social well being''.

Krippendorf says that tourism can be very helpful to people to feel that their home is not so bad after they return; moreover it's the best of all. I totally agree with him because we need for tourism, we want to escape from our work, home and environment. However, unfortunately, there is the evil side of tourism that can make us missing our homes. Of course, there are pull and push factors in tourism. We can consider pull factors that we love and push factors that we hate. Undoubtedly, we love tourism since it helps us to ''get away from it all''. With the help of tourism, we do what we want to and we refresh ourselves. On the other side, we escape our society to get rid of some problems, however, even we stand away from our daily life, we all will be back to our lives. There is no solution to escape everything completely. Thus, tourism is just an illusion that affects us negatively.

Countries which industrialized are mostly touristic destinations and they do not make a great effort to do so. Undoubtedly, it is very important to pay attention to facilities and infrastructures in a country since they are the basic elements of transportation and communication. In our country, we are not very good at infrastructure and facilities and our government usually does not give priority to them. As a result, we try so hard to attract tourists" attention to our country with different plans. For example, we do not give up “All Inclusive” system in order to be a tourist destination. Then we suffer from this system due to not having guests in a la carte restaurants. We try to solve the problems temporarily and get damaged from other sides, however, our problems are still standing there, infrastructure is still backward.

There is a big conflict among people that migrate to other countries. While poors want to get enough food, be free and in safe, riches want to escape from their daily life and live naturally. Thus, we can say that people in different countries have different expectations from travel and we cannot generate these expectations. However, tourism is not a revolutionary change of the situations. It just helps people to get rid of his/her problems temporarily. So, we can say that tourism is the need for the change of present situations, not permanently changes. For example, a business man leaves his country and stays alone in a hotel room by the sea. Then he backs to his work as an energised and happy person. However, this situation does not mean that that man could get rid of his problems permanently. Probably, after a while, he will need to go away and rest again.

Lastly, when it comes to tourism and modernity, tourism is different from other sectors in terms of its products. Since its products are abstract and need to be consumed during the travel period. People cannot consume its products when they return to their homes but the affects of their travel may be still alive. On the other hand, unfortunately, workers in tourism should be in a happy mode all the time. All tourists want to have fun, rest and forget the rest, so workers should be debonair all the time even it is very hard to be.

Zeynep Hardal

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