Saturday, 3 March 2012

The Industry

I've learned a lot about the tourism industry in these last two months. For example, Sweden's Mälmo's cathedral has a beautiful astronomical clock but the city hasn't made it into an attraction, so it doesn't bring in any tourist money. Compare this to France's Strasbourg's less beautiful astronomical clock. There were at least 100 people standing there who paid for the little homemade video the cathedral shows and to watch the 30-second clock action. There was another astronomical clock I saw in Prague, people stayed to watch it but it was in a public square and no one had to pay. Out of all the three clocks, imagine how much money Strasbourg's clock brings in for the cathedral since the clock does that everyday anyway whether there are paying tourists or not. But it's things like Mälmo's beautiful repainted clock - the unadvertised, the stumbled-upon - that make it worthwhile to travel. If you didn't have these things you can walk around and discover, with technology like what we have these days, you can just use a smartphone or Google streetview or image search engines to find anything you need without leaving home.

Speaking of images, I find that the pictures I take aren't sufficient to see and feel the space. The flat image does not lend itself well to the textures, the expansiveness or closeness of the places that I visit, the sounds, the smells, the air, the customs and mistakes made. Travel is sightseeing, yes, but also experience.

No comments: