Airlines, hotels, travel & tourism
The seat next to the door
12.5% of houses sold in Devon, Cornwall and Somerset (South-West England) are being sold by people who are leaving the country. Traditionally the South West was where you went to retire. More recently it's one of the places you go when you are still working but you're fed up with living in London and the South-East. However, many people are now finding that they get fed up with the South West too because many of the things they disliked about the rest of the country (bad weather, yob culture, lack of respect etc) have travelled Westwards too. Since they can't move any further away and feel that the whole country is 'going down the tube' many are leaving the UK altogether. 191,000 people emigrated from the UK last year while 342,000 moved in (a net influx of 151,000). However, those that moved out were largely older people with substantial assets while those that moved in tended to be younger and poorer people from Eastern Europe. Those leaving the UK who sold houses worth between £500,000 and £800,000 tended to move to France and Spain while those selling homes valued at between £800,000 and £1.5 million tended to move further afield to countries like Australia and New Zealand. Will they go back? The trend is too new to give any conclusive answer although a survey by the charity Age Concern found that 50% do eventually move back due to ill health, financial issues or family.
Ref: The Weekly Telegraph (UK) Issue No. 733 ' Even further from the madding crowd...', R.Clark. www.telegraph.co.uk
The new moral tourism
Tourism is arguably the largest industry on earth. It employs 74 million people directly and as many as 200 million if you include ancillary activities. 700 million people travel internationally each year 'for fun' and it's estimated that this figure will reach 1.6 billion by the year 2020 - at which point tourism expenditure will reach US $2 trillion per year (US $5 billion per day). However, whilst tourism represents a respite from the drudgery of everyday life for most, it is, increasingly, being talked about in negative terms by a group of people who would like to regulate tourism on the basis of environmental and cultural damage. For this group, tourism is neither innocent nor fun but an out of control industry that is wreaking havoc on the planet. Thus new types of terminology (and tourism) are being created such as 'green tourism', 'new tourism', 'ethical tourism' and 'responsible tourism'. For example, in the UK Tourism Concern is lobbying government and industry to limit developments in some areas due to environmental damage and pull out of others altogether due to human rights abuses. However, whilst there is undoubtedly a growing demand (and need) for holidays that 'make a difference', one suspects that many of these 'new tourists' are more concerned with escaping the crowds than saving the planet. Moreover, while tourism has undoubtedly 'destroyed' many places in the eyes of privileged Westerners, it has also contributed greatly to local economic prosperity and well-being. Thus the new moralisation of tourism is essentially anti-modernist. To think of tourists as 'unthinking' exploiters is a gross generalisation that probably has more to do with the trend for regulating pleasure than it has with a concern for the well-being of locals.
Ref: Various including Spiked-online.com (UK) 11 August 2005 'Sun, Sea and saving the world', J. Butcher. www.spiked-online.com