Thursday, September 23, 2010


Jamaica Kincaid, is a native Antiguan  girl, who describes her feelings towards tourism/tourists, in her book called "A small place".  In it talks about tourism and its consequences that affect her country, such as the economy, culture, government, etc.
The way she expresses about tourists, is obvious that she does NOT like them, well, in general she does NOT agree with tourism; and it is totally comprehensible because i have prior experiences coming to Manhattan when I take the Staten Island Ferry.

opportunities and trade. 

Kincaid mentioned about the airport that has the name of Antigua's  prime minister, and she asks herself , the why? of not putting HIS name  on a school or a hospital?
so she answers to her own question, and it is because the schools are nothing else but (literally) "basic schools", and hospitals? well, they are not in their best condition either.
So that is why the prime minister prefers to put his "venerable" name on an airport that probably is more "presentable" than any other state property.
But, why spending a big amount of money in airport(s) and not in schools and hospitals?
probably because the airport is the place where tourists arrive, and it is the first thing they are going to see once they are on the ground, so Antigua has to give the best "first impression" to their guests.

Tourists may travel to a foreign country to see new things, to have new experiences. They want to meet different people to the ones they are used to see everyday; perhaps be in a place where they may see themselves different to the rest of their ordinary life.

Certainly, they try to avoid any stress that may be caused by the life they have in their "own" habitat.
Tourists get motivated by the place they are going to visit, and because it is also a way of relaxing after long months, weeks, days, and hours of work, it may also be a great opportunity to spend time with their loved ones.

Apparently, tourists seem like to observe very carefully every single detail around them, but are they really?
In my opinion, they just see what they want to see, nothing else further. As Kincaid mentioned in her book,
-""you see a beautiful boy skimming the water, godlike on a windsurfer.You see an incredibly unattractive, fat, pastrylike fleshed man; you see the pleasure they're taking in their surroundings"-  but were they seeing her? were tourists really seeing the things around them? the people around them? as she said, the just see themselves, and all the "beauty", the "exterior" but they never see what may be "inside", inside of the country, inside of the governmet, inside of every individual,
They do not realize that while they are enjoyin a beautiful view some of us have to go to places for example our work, school, social gatherings etc.
As we know, tourism affects "our" economy in many aspects, some of them for good, some not so good. Sometimes the places visited by tourists are benefited or harmed. For example they bring money to the city so we can have magnificent parks, schools, hopitals and everything the city needs for its public places, but it does the contrary for us the residents, who have to slow down to their pace, for example while they stand around admiring I have to wait until they are done to get through, which annoys me because the simple fact that they delay the ferry and/or other ways of transportation for a couple of minutes.
It also has a huge impact in culture, for example in Mexico, they do not celebrate Halloween, well, at least they did not celebrate it during that time, Mexicans have something called "dia de muertos" that is when they celebrate the death, they did not use customs, but now? they do not celebrate it as before, now people care more about customs than anything else, they do not care about cooking for their loved ones that passed away.
Another example is that children never asked for gifts to "Santa Claus",  now that is what Christmas
 means for kids, and  those are traditions that were brought from the U.S., and other foreign countries.

Sometimes, I just ask myself, if tourists feel the same way, when we go and "invade" their territory?
Kincaid argued in a passage that traveling is a privilege for "the rich to enjoy" but if you think about it, is not about how much money you have, because you do not need an extreme amount of money only affordable to the rich, middle class and even lower class can afford a vacation but it only takes them more time and effort to reach their goal

Tourism has become one of the world’s largest industries. The industry has gone some way to addressing 

some environmental concerns but is not eager to address the social, cultural and economic issues, particularly

 in relation to developing countries in order to protect its commercial interest.

The reason for travelling has changed more into leisure and relaxation instead of exploring new business 

1 comment:

  1. Hi Mildred - Good start! But keep in mind that unlike the film, in this text she's writing about her much smaller native country of Antigua, not Jamaica