Thoughts On Tourism (Reading List — More)

Some more readings to add to this ongoing topic:

• “Respect Hawaii’s Sacred Land,” by Isiah Magsino in the excellent email newsletter Anti-Racism Daily: “Investigate the motives behind Zuckerberg, the telescope, COVID travel, and the development of sacred burial grounds, and you get one common denominator: money from outside of Hawaii. This contributes to the growing wealth disparity between non-Native Hawaiians and Native Hawaiians, as Native Hawaiians have the highest poverty rate in Hawaii …”

• “Study Hall: Ethical Tourism” (Nicole Cardoza; Anti-Racism Daily): “Isiah’s piece touched on how tourism to Hawaii contributes to its colonization, and how many may not respect its deep history and culture. At the same time, tourism is important to the local economy. When traveling to these spaces, it’s important to listen to the best practices of both the local travel boards and the Indigenous communities that inhabit those lands. Always aim to spend your money with locally-owned lodging, restaurants, etc. Respect the land and don’t leave a visible footprint (recycle, wear the right sunscreen, etc). You can learn more from mindful travel from people like Dr. Kiona that regularly outline these issues.” (This piece seems to be available only in the email newsletter. It was written in response to a reader who asked if they should simply refrain from traveling to Hawaii even though they are interested in the culture.) Go here to subscribe to Anti-Racism Daily email newsletter. It’s a very practical and insight-filled resource.

“Stop Going to Mexico: Travel during pandemic is ‘vacation colonialism'” (Stuart Schuffman, in San Francisco Examiner): “Many of the people I see going to Mexico in my social media feeds are in the ‘wellness community’ or are people who focus on spirituality and ‘personal growth.’ Loving yourself and working on health and wellness are incredibly important, but doing so at the expense of other peoples’ health and wellness makes the whole thing total bullshit.”

“As Casino Revenues Plummet, What’s Next for Tiny Macau?” (Simon Lewis, in TIME): Macau’s economy is almost entirely reliant on the casinos where Chinese from the mainland do their gambling. It may bring in money for state coffers, but Souza, whose clientele comprises largely Western expatriates and Macau citizens, feels the gaming industry has corrupted his home. ‘The money is going into [officials’] pockets through these big projects,’ he says, ‘It’s wasteful.’ When the casinos came, ‘the feeling of Macau, the feeling of the neighborhood, changed very suddenly,’ he says. ‘It’s not a place I feel like I want to stay in.’ ‘There’s a lot of side effects,’ Lei says. ‘In business and even [in terms of] how to think about the city, they only think, “we need to please the tourists.” I don’t think that is good for the young generation.'”

• (This one’s a video.) First TikTok vid I’ve ever watched and it’s a goodie. Anti-racist, anti-colonialist, pro-resident, pandemic-acknowledging take on travel to Hawaii. “Should you be traveling to Hawaii right now? NO!” TikTok video by Thelma; link via Anti-Racism Daily email newsletter.

• And, here is my previous post where I started a list of my favorite readings that both echo, and have helped me to clarify, my thoughts on tourism. Enjoy!