Monday, June 25, 2012

WHO OR WHAT IS A TOURIST?


The e-mail started with this sentence:
The workshop . . . .  attended was "Using Wildlife for Tourism: Opportunities, Threats, Responsibilities." (run by Wildlife Tourism Australian Inc.)
It raised the questions: What matters would have been discussed at this workshop? How can wildlife be ‘used’ for tourism? Should it be? Indeed - what is a tourist? Who is a tourist? What has to be done to create ‘opportunities’ for these creatures that would normally not be considered sensible or relevant, as folk say, in ordinary ‘everyday living’? What is unique about tourism and its’ demands?

The first thought is that zoos cater for tourists with their ‘wild’ animals. Is this what wildlife tourism means? Somehow there is a different sense here involving something more wild; more ‘free’ - more challenging. What does a tourist expect? What does a tourist do that requires such special attention? It seems that ‘attractions’ are required; something that stands out from the usual. So a tourist seeks the unusual; things that are different? Maybe.

The dictionary (dictionary.com) says that a tourist is:

tour·ist

[toor-ist]
noun
1.
a person who is traveling, especially for pleasure.
2.
tourist class.
adverb
3.
in tourist-class accommodations, or by tourist-class conveyance: to travel tourist.
Origin:
1770–80;
tour  + -ist

non·tour·ist, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2012.
 
Link To tourist
Example Sentences
  • During that month the city, except for its main tourist arteries, is a radically different place from its usual self.
  • Hotels, restaurants, shops and tourist guides are complaining of a huge drop in income.
  • It was an old tourist attraction, with steps and handrails and electric lights.
Related Words for : tourist
holidaymaker, tourer

World English Dictionary
tourist  (ˈtʊərɪst)
n
1.
a. a person who travels for pleasure, usually sightseeing and staying in hotels

b. ( as modifier ): tourist attractions
2.
a person on an excursion or sightseeing tour
3.
a person travelling abroad as a member of a sports team that is playing a series of usually international matches
4.
Also called: tourist class  the lowest class of accommodation on a passenger ship
adj
5.
of or relating to tourist accommodation
tour'istic
adj

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Etymonline
Word Origin & History

tourist
first attested 1780, from tour (n.); tourist trap attested from 1939, in Graham Greene.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper


 As the word was only first attested in 1789, Captain Cook could not have been ‘a tourist,’ but maybe his reports about Australia initiated the desire for tourism?

The one characteristic identified in the definitions as relating specifically to tourists is ‘pleasure.’ To summarize, the definition simply says that a tourist is one travelling for pleasure, maybe abroad, sightseeing or on an excursion, and usually staying in hotels. So one can identify the important differences with a tourist as being the seeking of pleasure by looking at or participating in something during specially organised trips away from home, while staying in hotels. In the context of the first sentence of the e-mail that spoke of the workshop ‘Using Wildlife for Tourism: Opportunities,’ one has to interpret the possibilities for this ‘use’ as being the organisation of special trips so that travellers can enjoy the spectacle of things wild when moving from their hotel accommodation on excursions. It could even be that the hotel is close to the wildlife, so that there may be no need for any excursion - that the hotel stay is the excursion. Yet this organisational aspect is the ‘structural’ aspect of the definition. The core is pleasure.

For a tourist to want to go and see, there has to be an attraction that intrigues and cajoles, draws a tourist in with the promise of a special pleasure that distracts from things ‘everyday.’ This seems to be the primary matter, as excursions and hotels are mere supporting issues that allow for - facilitate - the ‘sightseeing’ that gives the pleasure being sought. Unless a tourist has some unique masochistic interest, one could classify a tourist more simply and directly - perhaps more honestly - as ‘a pleasure seeker.’ So it is that tourists travel to bungie jump, climb mountains or laze on a beach - to each his/her own delight.


So what about these wild animals? The proposition seems to be: how can wild animals be presented to / made accessible to groups of tourists on excursions to maximise the tourists’ pleasure? It was Barry Lopez, (Arctic Dreams, Of Wolves and Men, Crossing Open Ground), in one of his wonderful essays on nature, who spoke of how, when, after diving in the Caribbean, he returned to his hotel to be asked excitedly by other drivers on the excursion: “Wow! Did you see the octopus?” Lopez, far more sensitive to his natural surroundings than any ordinary tourist, noted that it would have been much better to ask: “Where had this octopus come from? Where was it going? What was it doing there?” What he was emphasizing was that nature is not merely something to gawk at for our selfish pleasure. It is not there just for our entertainment. It is there along with us, in this world, sharing it. We have no better rights to claim any more than this, no matter what is said in Genesis about domination.

Our response as pleasure seekers ignores the very heart of the situation by placing all of the importance and significance on and in the observer - the self-important tourist seeking a pleasurable indulgence, whatever the outcome or implications of this activity might be, because it has been paid for. For Lopez the pleasure came from sharing the same space and place as this other creature, with each respecting the other with a reciprocal understanding, care and reverence - a position that can be summed up as responsibility: a word that touches on the ability to respond and the level of accountability that this reaction holds - indeed, demands.


The worry with the tourist is that there is no necessary responsibility in any sense other than in self-interest. Look how the crowds push and pull to see, to insist on their 'rights' that have been purchased. The singular aim is indulgent pleasure seeking. Tourists will do anything to get their pleasures. The great problem with tourism lies in this irresponsibility - the lack of care for the observed thing in their sights when ‘sightseeing.’ The aim is to maximise the pleasure achieved; to heighten the ‘fix’ of the pleasurable outcome, the more unique the better: and once this has been done, the excursion moves on to the next object of pleasure, because pleasure, like most ‘highs,’ has its limits and must become a ‘low’ again. It can sustain itself only for short periods before other matters intrude - time, weather, crowds, money, family, bodily functions and feelings: those droll necessities of life and being.

So, as for “Using Wildlife for Tourism: Opportunities,” and, one could add “Using World Heritage for Tourism Opportunities,” the important word is ‘using’ - using something for irresponsible pleasure: ‘ab-using’ it. Tourists ‘use’ things - they consume, and spend money for the privilege of being remote from ordinary things. The echo of the prefix ‘eco’ makes no difference to outcomes. The ‘sight’ is still being used for a tourist’s pleasure seeking, with no other aim than this, echo or eco. Soon other matters creep in to further complicate issues: comfort needs to be attended to, and convenience catered for. So the ‘attraction’ attracts facilities - food outlets, hotels, motels, cafes, grand roads, transport, parking lots - all for the comfort and convenience of the tourist, to add to the pleasure: to enhance it; at the very least, not to allow any interference with the delight being singled out. And the grander these facilities can be, the better is the ‘attraction’ - ‘world class’! - whatever that means. So we see astonishing hotels in astonishing places that treat amazing landscape as less than a painting, to be gawked at as the backdrop for immoderation; and wild animals too, become merely as actors - extras - in the pleasure game. The real worry is that they might not appear on cue, so tricks are used to ensure the ‘value’ of the experience. Things just get messy, and more messy.

What does become clear is that tourism needs to be very carefully managed. Often, in all of this hoohaa, the fake can be just as attractive as the real. Indeed, sometimes it is more convenient and comfortable, and hence more pleasurable. So why ‘bugger up’ the real? Why not make more and more fake - snowfields in Dubai; underwater hotels in the desert; rain forests in the heart of cities; surf in a ‘safe’ pool in a park? Keep the real and look after it responsibly. Tourists will do nothing for it but damage and interfere unless carefully managed. Simply put, tourism and World Heritage do not mix freely and should not. In the same way, wildlife needs to be protected, respected. Careful controls, management and supervision are needed, with the aim being to sustain the essence of the place and the animal, not the delight and comfort of the tourist, no matter how demanding this might become.

Unless we are prepared to ask the Lopez question and understand what its’ significance is, and to act on this basis, then we have a real problem. The Lopez proposition is that things need to be left alone - to be respected, not treated as dramatic spectacles. Reverence is involved - it touches on a spiritual matter, not merely the intrigue and delight of the extraordinary, for our world is extraordinary.

And Springbrook? Springbrook National Park is part of the World Heritage area that has been nominated because of its biodiversity. This is the core thing to remember. Springbrook National Park is also a very small National Park that is surrounded by development. It needs great care if its’ special World Heritage properties are not going to be erased by pleasure seekers, because extreme care and concern is required for the maintenance of the diversity that knows nothing of tourism, and owes it nothing. Governments need to understand this because fragile ecosystems are so easily disturbed and disrupted, but are so difficult to regain, to re-establish. The wonder of Springbrook is that, even in this tiny area, new species are still being discovered to this very day. To march in and trample this place for singular, selfish delight and others’ profits is an arrogance that cannot be allowed to continue willy-nilly. There are responsibilities that come with World Heritage listings, even if we remain blind to our responsibilities for our natural world and its meaning.

Tourism may bring in the dollars, but if the ambition is only pleasure, then we need to construct marvellous attractions well away from the real and fragile parts of our world and the world’s heritage. Play the game of fantasizing to maximise the pleasure in difference elsewhere. Don’t introduce comforts to add to the attraction in these sensitive places, in the belief that these facilities will have no impact. Such a strategy will kill the very thing that is most loved - by others. Rarely is love something that a tourist brings, other than the great desire for and love of pleasure. Pleasure is gained and the move is then on for more, and more. This is the threat. We have a responsibility to ensure it does no damage by saying no, go away - play the fake games of delight elsewhere. World Heritage means limits and controls, not the ‘come and see the extraordinary’ hype, even though it is. It should be: come and respect the special - for these reasons. It is your responsibility - and ours too. Feel welcome, but come as a thinking, feeling , caring, responsible person, not as a tourist.

For details of Springbrook see: www.springbrookrescue.org.au



P.S.
The Sydney Morning Herald of 25th May 2013 reported on ex-Prime Minister Paul Keating's concern with the commercialisaiton of the botanic gardens. Paul Keating sees the gardens as a place for quiet enjoyment and contemplation - see:


''The botanical gardens should be our proud front garden, instead of that, it is moving inexorably to being simply another arena,'' Mr Keating said. ''The trust would be better leaving municipal park benches strewn through the gardens and Domain, to allow people's quiet enjoyment and contemplation, rather than this grotesque alienation to the private events and party hire industry.''

The Trust and the Government apparently have other ambitions:

Last week, Environment Minister Robyn Parker said there was a need for a permanent music bowl in the gardens, and more revenue opportunities. Cox Architecture is drawing up a plan to create an ''unrivalled experience'' for tourists.
It seems that not even the Environment Minister is interested in 'quiet enjoyment and contemplation,' just in creating 'an unrivalled experience for tourists.' After all, tourists do not want simple solitude or any time for reflection, just more and better distractions. The world is only too happy to provide as many of these as it can. Giving thought to ordinary, everyday life that needs quiet and restful times and places is seen simply as a waste of time and a loss of money - tourist dollars. Designing the world for tourism is changing lives by ignoring the simple necessities in favour of exhibitionism.


23rd April 2014
Jan Morris  Contact! Brief encounters in a lifetime of travel  Faber and Faber, London, 2009, p.126:

 Arrival of the tourists

Down in the harbour of Capri I can see the morning vaporetto from the mainland, still hazy about the funnel, and here flooding into the piazza, pouring out of taxis, out of buses, out of horse carriages, out of the steep funicular that runs up from the waterfront - wearing floppy straw hats and rope-soled shoes and pink jeans and multifarious bangles - festooned with cameras, inquiring the price of swimsuits, unfolding maps, touching up their lipsticks beneath the campanile – talking German, English, French and every variety of Italian – young and old, blatant and demure, strait laced and outrageous, earnest and frivolous and thrilled and sick-to-death-of-it-all – here past my café table streams the first quota of the morning’s tourists.

31 May 2014
The face of tourism



http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-hereford-worcester-27624575

The subject of interest is always secondary to ME and MY experience. Wonder is belittled, turned into a background for MY performance.


13 JULY 2015

It was a sentence in an E-mail received today, totally unsolicited:
He told them they want the walk as Springbrook needs something else to bring even more tourists up.
Tourists always want more and more. Even ‘World Heritage’ is never enough; such is the desire for ever-new, quirky and different distractions. Would we really do this to World Heritage Uluru? Would the French have this approach to Chartres cathedral? The Indians to the Taj Mahal? – see: 
and
The problem is that bush walkers are a little like things ‘eco’: they have the appearance of being sensitive to place when the real ambition seems to be similar to that of mountain climbers – to make the journey and tick the box.

We need to understand the unique importance of having one of the few regions in the world that has been listed as having ‘World Heritage’ values.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

BUNGLE BUNGLE

The Bungle Bungle Range, Purnululu National Park was promoted in The Weekend Australian June 23-24, 2012 with a full-page advertisement: WORLD HERITAGE!


The listing is used merely for the smart play on words - make it part of your list too: TOURISM.


 The hype is emphasised - EXPERIENCE EXTRAORDINARY!
It's just what every tourist is looking for.
There is no World Heritage logo to emphasise the message of the listing and its significance, nor is there any explanation of why the place is so important.
The buzz is created to attract and intrigue tourists - like flies.
It is a shame that World Heritage listings in Australia only seem to have a meaning for promotion.
Let's hope we don't continue to bungle things in this way.
Countries have obligations and repsonsibilities to properly manage their Wolrd Heritage regions, not for tourism, but for the preservation of the values which stimulated the listing.
It is extraordinary how this is forgotten and neglected in favour of making money from the meaning. 
The irony is that Australians have always struggled to be 'World Class.' 
Yet when we have it, we are not interested in caring for it.

see also: http://springbrooklocale.blogspot.com.au/2012/06/who-or-what-is-tourist.html

SKYRAIL PUSH AGAIN

The push continues:
We'll just have to keep pushing too, until the meaning and importance of the World Heritage listing is recognised, and our responsibility for it is accepted.

see also:
http://springbrooklocale.blogspot.com.au/2012/06/bungle-bungle.html
http://springbrooklocale.blogspot.com.au/2012/06/who-or-what-is-tourist.html

Saturday, June 23, 2012

STRATEGIC OVERVIEW


The document is called: WORLD HERITAGE CENTRAL EASTERN RAINFOREST RESERVES OF AUSTRALIA  STRATEGIC OVERVIEW FOR MANAGEMENT. It can be accessed at
http://www.environment.gov.au/heritage/publications/strategy/pubs/mgtoverview.pdf
The document is referenced here as part of the UNESCO World Heritage information - see also:
 http://springbrooklocale.blogspot.com.au/2012/06/world-heritage.html
The document addresses many of the issues that are becoming a serious concern for the region with sections on: Key Management Principles and Objectives; Threats; Identification; Protection; Conservation; Rehabilitation; and Presentation. The importance of this region is not just a 'greenie' fantasy as some like to see it. Queensland and Australia have an obligation to manage this region carefully and repsonsibly.


UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE


T


The words 'World Heritage' are quoted so frequently that they lose their power and authority, being rendered meaningless through their familiarity. They become as useless as gobbledigook. Rarely is the original citation ever reveiwed. Because of this, the information on the listing of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia, a region that includes Springbrook, is included here, as a reference for rememberance - lest we forget.

The Queensland Government's site on Spring brook National Park  http://www.derm.qld.gov.au/parks/springbrook/ notes:

What's special

Spectacular waterfalls, lush rainforest, ancient trees, impressive views, exceptional ecological importance and natural beauty make this Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area an outstanding place to visit.


The link explains in more detail:

 Gondwana Rainforests of Australia

The Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage area, originally listed in 1986 to cover rainforests in New South Wales, was extended in 1994 to include rainforests on the Queensland side of the border.
This property has an area of 366 507ha; 59 223ha is in Queensland.
The Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage area meets three of the four natural criteria for listing:
  • represents a major stage of the earth's evolutionary history
  • is an outstanding example of ongoing ecological and biological processes.
  • contains the most important natural habitats for conserving biological diversity.
Protected areas in this property include Lamington, Springbrook, Mt Barney and Main Range National Parks. An estimated 2 million people a year visit this World Heritage area.
Before European settlement, these sub-tropical rainforests were probably the most extensive rainforests in Australia. Today, Lamington National Park has the largest remaining area of undisturbed subtropical rainforest.
Less varied than the wet tropical rainforests of north Queensland, these rainforests include warm temperate, cool temperate, sub-tropical and dry rainforests. This property contains the world's most extensive subtropical rainforest and nearly all of the world's Antarctic beech cool temperate rainforest.
Rainforests on both sides of the border contain more frog, snake, bird and marsupial species than anywhere else in Australia. This site provides a home for many rare and threatened plants and animals and ancient life forms.
Sub-tropical rainforest in Lamington and Main Range National Parks provides a home for ground-dwelling birds such as the rare Albert's lyrebird and the endangered eastern bristlebird. Fruit-eating birds such as the endangered Coxen's fig parrot live in open forest in Mt Barney National Park.
The New South Wales and Queensland Governments work together to protect this property.
Read more about Gondwana Rainforests of AustraliaExternal link icon.


The World Heritage listing is a UNESCO initiative. The complete UNESCO World Heritage list for Australia is:

Australia


The Gondwana Rainforests of Australia is item number six on the list. Springbrook shares the significance of this listing with only nineteen other places in Australia. For the complete world-wide list of World Heritage sites see: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list 


The note 1 reads:
Notes
  1. Extension of the "Australian East Coast Temperate and Subtropical Rainforest Park".
    name changed 2007 from 'Central Eastern Rainforest Reserves (Australia)'
     
The details of this listing are itemised at  http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/368  The site can be explored, and expanded through all of its links.

 

 

Gondwana Rainforests of Australia

Brief Description

This site, comprising several protected areas, is situated predominantly along the Great Escarpment on Australia’s east coast. The outstanding geological features displayed around shield volcanic craters and the high number of rare and threatened rainforest species are of international significance for science and conservation.

Gondwana rainforests © Tourism Queensland More pictures ...

Historical Description

With the opening of the Gwydir Highway in December 1960, the Gibraltar Range became accessible and moves were initiated to establish a national park. Approximately 14,000ha was reserved for public recreation by notification in the Government Gazette of 8 March 1963 and further 1,425ha was added by notification in the Government Gazette of 17 September 1965. The area was formally created a national park under the National Parks and Wildlife Act, 1967. Further land was incorporated with the park by proclamation in the Government Gazette of 24 December 1970 (c. 105ha) and 1 July 1977 (c. 1,790ha). Washpool National Park was reserved under the Forestry Revocation and National Parks Reservation Act, 1983. Inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1986.
Source: Advisory Body Evaluation

Notes

  • Extension of the "Australian East Coast Temperate and Subtropical Rainforest Park".
    name changed 2007 from 'Central Eastern Rainforest Reserves (Australia)'

Gallery




IT'S THE BIODIVERSITY . . .



You probably noticed Ros Bates' "Address in Reply" in Parliament on Tuesday 5 June 2012:

"I turn now to Springbrook. Many members would have heard me speak about Springbrook. The previous government had a plan-it was a secret plan, a surreptitious plan-to buy up houses in Springbrook and then demolish them. It simply made no sense for the government to buy tracts of land and demolish the houses, particularly when state housing was so stretched on the Gold Coast. This secret plan made little sense on any level, unless it was a plan to demolish not only these houses but also the Springbrook community.

I have been asking questions on what the last government's thinking was behind that secret plan and why it was never announced. I did not receive any real response from the last government. I look forward to actually receiving some answers from the current Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection and wrestling back control of their own destiny for the silent majority who voted for me in Springbrook from the vocal green minority who have held these residents to ransom.
"

Does Ms Bates understand the importance of the World Heritage listing and what it means, not only for Queensland, but also Australia and the world? It carries obligations. It is not a slogan to promote tourism or business opportunities.

The phobia about a ‘secret plan’ is astonishing – to demolish ‘the Springbrook community.’ Where did she get this concept from?

Maybe it has come from the same place as her vision for ‘wrestling back control of their own destiny for the silent majority . . . from the vocal green minority who have held these residents to ransom.’

Has Ms Bates understood the implications of World Heritage? The listing is not based on any popular vote. It is based on fact – the unique biodiversity of the area: and biodiversity does not rely on any majority to be. It has its' own necessities.

Let’s hope that the Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection can help her – but don’t hold your breath!


Friday, June 22, 2012

AWARD

The Association's Award:
Thank you.
It brings to mind the graffiti response to Malcolm Fraser's statement made some time ago: "Life wasn't meant to be easy" - Life wasn't meant to be anything.

The single point is that World Heritage cannot be compromised.
The listing is made not to create business opportunities or profit - see Big push to get skyrail flying again, Gold Coast Sun, Thursday, June 21, 2012.
"We must make sure each terminal can be integrated with existing businesses so they are not placed in direct competition with other commercial ventures. If this could be accommodated I would love to see this project get support and enhance the local economy."
Cr. Tozer on the cableway project.
Did he mention this during his election campaign?
The critical factor is the World Heritage listing and what it stands for. The listing was made for the protection of the biodiversity of flora and fauna in the region. It was not made because of the beauty of the place and its' tourist potential.
To understand this may be difficult, but life, like politics and commerce, was never meant to be easy - well, anything:
but commitment is needed and expected.
The world is watching . . 
as Australia has discovered with its' Great Barrier Reef
(that is also listed on the World Heritage register).


P.S.

4. Protecting our environment and community
– Finding the balance between growth and preservation

Residents live in Division 9 for good reason. It is a most beautiful Hinterland, has retained a country feel & culture and is known for a serenity and peace uncommon in other parts of the Gold Coast. Protecting this must be our priority. Our urban planning and economic objectives (which do remain critically important) should be governed by focus on preserving the reasons why our residents live here in the first place.

Glenn Tozer election commitment: see
http://springbrooklocale.blogspot.com.au/2012/06/remember.html




Wednesday, June 13, 2012

REMEMBER

















FROM http://www.glenntozer.com.au/

Why vote for Glenn
  • He’ll be a Councillor who listens
  • He’ll be a Councillor who collaborates
  • He’ll always call you back
  • He cares about our community
  •  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Commitment

The plans for the community are evolving but in my talks with residents there have been overarching principles that have been lacking that need to be addressed as a local Councillor.
My commitments to Division 9 residents can be summarized below;

1. Better Communication
– My 72 hour response guarantee.

If I receive a letter, email or phone call, I commit to respond within 72 hours. Although I can’t be sure I’ll have an immediate solution, I think it’s a matter of respect toward those who elected me to politely acknowledge their correspondence within a reasonable timeframe.

2. Better Community Consultation
– Quarterly public meetings with the division

I believe the community needs to “own” the division. The strategic vision and issues of the division needs to be discussed in public, not behind closed doors. I am committed to involving and collaborating with all the community as the area grows and we need innovative ideas and solutions to keep Division 9 the best place to live.

3. A Transparent and Open Government
– Accessible and Collaborative

The Gold Coast, and Australia, needs to move toward greater accessibility to government. The government has become so bureaucratic that the people, who the government works for, are sometimes unable to easily access the information necessary to keep representatives accountable. This must change. Residents of Division 9 can be assured that when it comes to Gold Coast City Council waste, Gold Coast City Council expenditure, and divisional budgets, my policy will be working for openness and collaborative problem-solving. This includes working to reduce red tape for small businesses and trades.

4. Protecting our environment and community
– Finding the balance between growth and preservation

Residents live in Division 9 for good reason. It is a most beautiful Hinterland, has retained a country feel & culture and is known for a serenity and peace uncommon in other parts of the Gold Coast. Protecting this must be our priority. Our urban planning and economic objectives (which do remain critically important) should be governed by focus on preserving the reasons why our residents live here in the first place.