Is tourism harmful?


2019-09-12 00:00

Introduction

More and more people are travelling to explore the world – many of us have more leisure time, and the cost of travelling has become relatively cheaper. But this has been creating problems in the most sought-after destinations. So much so that some cities - Rome, Bruges and others -have decided to impose restrictions on tourism to avoid overcrowding and make life easier for the local residents. Rob and Sam talk about tourism crackdown and teach you related vocabulary. 

This week's question

According to Mastercard’s Global Destination Cities Index, what was the most visited city in 2018? Was it…
a) London
b) New York, or
c) Bangkok?


Listen to the programme to find out the answer.

Vocabulary

respect
treat something or someone with care

clampdown (or crackdown)
officially trying to stop or limit people doing something

misbehave
do something bad or inappropriate

objective
a plan or aim to achieve something

Disneyfication
turning something into an artificial, not real, commercial environment, similar to a Walt Disney theme park

to cap
to restrict, to limit

Transcript 

Note: This is not a word for word transcript    

Rob
Hello. This is 6 Minute English and I'm Rob. This is the programme where in just six minutes we discuss an interesting topic and teach some related English vocabulary. Well, joining me to do this is Sam.

Sam
Hello! So what’s our interesting topic today, Rob?

Rob
Something close to our hearts, Sam – it's travel.

Sam
Great!

Rob
But more and more of us are travelling to explore the world – many of us have more leisure time, and the cost of travelling has become relatively cheaper.

Sam
But here lies the problem – the places we’re visiting are becoming more crowded, sometimes spoiling the atmosphere and the beauty – the things we came to see in the first place!

Rob
This is why we’re going to be discussing how some cities around the world are putting restrictions on the tourists who visit. But that’s after I challenge you to answer this question, Sam! Are you ready?

Sam
Bring it on, Rob!

Rob
According to Mastercard’s Global Destination Cities Index, what was the most visited city in 2018? Was it…
a) London
b) New York, or
c) Bangkok?

Sam
All great places to visit – but I think I’ll stay close to home and say a) London.

Rob
OK. Well, as always I will reveal the answer later in the programme.
Now, let’s start our journey in Italy’s capital city, Rome. Famous for its Colosseum, Trevi Fountain and many other things.

Sam
Lots of people are visiting, Rob – and locals and tourists have differing attitudes towards the way they respect these beautiful and historic sites. Respect here is a verb, to mean treat something with care.

Rob
Well, the authorities in the city fear that some tourists are showing disrespect to the city and have introduced laws to clampdown on certain behaviour. Clampdown means officially trying to stop or limit people doing something. Sabina Castelfranco is a journalist in the city. She told BBC Radio 4’s You and Yours programme why new restrictions have been introduced…

Sabina Castelfranco, journalist
The new rules are really to make sure that tourists do not misbehave when they are visiting tourist attractions in Rome. Romans don't like to see tourists walking around bare-chested, they don't like to see them wading in their fountains - so really the objective is to improve the life of the city for residents and for tourists themselves.

Sam
So, the new rules are to stop tourists misbehaving – that’s doing bad or inappropriate things. I’m sure not all visitors misbehave – but those who have been, have been wading – that’s walking through water – in the famous fountains and men have not been covering up the top half of their bodies – so, going bare-chested.

Rob
Not any more, Sam! These new laws have banned this with the objective of improving the life for the people of Rome – the Romans. An objective is a plan or aim to achieve something.

Sam
Other laws introduced in Rome, with the objective of improving the city, include giving out severe fines to people who drop litter and to those who attach ‘love padlocks’ to historic monuments.

Rob
Well, I guess if it makes the city a nicer place to visit for everyone, then it’s a good idea.  Well, let’s talk about another historic old city – Bruges in Belgium. The old and narrow streets are often packed with sightseers – so restrictions have been introduced there. Helen Coffey, deputy travel editor for the Independent newspaper, also spoke to the You and Yours programme, to explain what is going on…

Helen Coffey, Deputy Travel Editor, The Independent
Bruges was the latest city to say we're going to introduce new regulations to crack down on what they called the Disneyfication of their city. A really key one is they're going to cap the number of cruises that can dock, and actually this a big one that lots of cities do. They basically don't like cruise visitors because cruise visitors don't spend money.

Sam
So Helen mentioned a crackdown – which like clampdown – means taking action to restrict or stop certain activities. And Bruges wants to crack down on the Disneyfication of the city.

Rob
This term describes turning something into an artificial, not real, commercial environment, similar to a Walt Disney theme park. I’m not sure it’s that similar yet, but one way to maintain the authentic feel of the city is to cap the number of cruises that can dock.

Sam
Cap means restrict or limit. It’s felt that visitors who come by cruise ship, don’t stay overnight and therefore don’t bring much money into the city. The message from the city authorities is ‘stay overnight or don’t come!’

Rob
Well, one city that has people visiting for the day or staying longer is the most visited city in the world – but where is that, Sam? Earlier I asked you what the most visited city in 2018 was? Was it…
a) London
b) New York, or
c) Bangkok?

Sam
And I said London.

Rob
That was in second place. The most visited city last year was Bangkok, in Thailand.

Sam
OK, Rob. Well, maybe what I can get right is a recap of today’s vocabulary. Starting with respect. If you respect something you treat it with care.

Rob
We also discussed clampdown, which means officially trying to stop or limit people doing something. Crackdown is a similar phrase.

Sam
To misbehave is to do something bad or inappropriate. And an objective is a plan or aim to achieve something.

Rob
Our next word is Disneyfication - a term that describes turning something into an artificial, not real, commercial environment, similar to a Walt Disney theme park.

Sam
And finally we had cap – which means restrict or limit. 

Rob
Well, we’ve had to cap this programme at 6 minutes – and we’re out of time. Goodbye!

Sam
Bye bye!