“Tourismophobia”, a development that comes from far-off

The prospects for the 2022 tourism season are promising. At worldwide stage, the tide of the 2 years of the pandemic lastly appears to be turning: in accordance with the World Tourism Group (UNWTO), worldwide vacationer arrivals on the planet greater than doubled (+130%) in January 2022. in comparison with 2021.

So far as France is worried, a “very, very good season” is forward, to make use of the phrases of Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, then Minister of Delegates for Tourism, throughout a press convention final April.

The figures, supported by the return of international vacationers, really present a 24% improve in reservations thus far in comparison with 2019 and 30% if we take the forecast turnover.

“Biarritz will now not be Biarritz”

The “post-Covid” prophets who predicted a world extra comparable than earlier than when it comes to tourism appear to have been flawed for the time being with the large return of vacationers to airports or seashores. This is sufficient to revive in parallel the “Tourismophobia” or Touristophobia denoting the aversion to tourism and/or vacationers that the circumstances of Barcelona or Venice appear to point out, with the theme of Overtourism (overtourism). Nonetheless, it is a protected guess that this tourist-phobia would persist even when developments did not improve.

The truth is, it appears inherent in tourism, and has been for a very long time. As early as 1842, the encyclopedia of the French Academy provided the next definition in its Complement to the Dictionary of the French Academy :

“It’s mentioned of vacationers who journey via international lands solely out of curiosity or idleness, making a type of tour in lands usually visited by their countrymen. That is mentioned above all to English vacationers in France, Switzerland and Italy. This expression was borrowed from the English language.

Touristophobia is clearly mixed with Anglophobia and located within the definition of “absent” within the Giant common dictionary from the nineteenth century (1866-1877) by Pierre Larousse:

“The behavior of the well-to-do lessons of sure peoples of spending a part of their lives outdoors their nation, a behavior significantly peculiar to the English aristocracy: absenteeism is a scourge typically hidden beneath the identify of tourism.

On the similar time there have been many nice writers in the identical vein. George Sand explains that “Vacationers solely consider in issues far-off and well-known”. Victor Hugo declared in 1843: “Quickly Biarritz will erect ramps on its dunes, stairs on its precipices, kiosks on its rocks, benches on its caves. Then Biarritz is now not Biarritz; it will likely be one thing discolored and bastard like Dieppe and Ostend”. Historical past will certainly have proved him flawed…

“The Vacationer and the Traveler”

Later, different intellectuals will amuse us with their good phrases about tourism, like the tutorial Jean Mistler (1897-1988) who writes:

“Tourism is the trade of transporting individuals who could be higher off at house to locations that may be higher off with out them. »

This pejorative view of the vacationer has continued to rub off, for instance within the tutorial world. As psychologist Dominique Picard famous in her 1995 e-book The rituals of life (Du Seuil editions):

” [Il] it is trend to be overwhelmed: we’re not going away for the weekend, we will “write an article within the nation”; we do not go on trip, we go “to our nation”; We do not journey, we “go to a symposium”. And if, in any case, we typically discuss an tour, a journey or studying of a playful nature, it’s as a result of we’re “nonetheless” “licensed” to distract ourselves just a little. »

What’s behind this stigma? From the daybreak of tourism, the distinction has been contrasted between the ‘vacationer’, a shepherd more and more serving an trade that has change into nothing however illusions, and the ‘traveller’, touring to locations with full consciousness. This lengthy custom of ridicule and even hatred of those “travelling idiots”, to make use of the title of Jean-Didier Urbain’s e-book analyzing this despicable prejudice, stays very a lot alive.

social contempt

As we famous in the course of the M-Tourism convention final April, this may be considered as a type of social disparagement. This enterprise of delegitimizing well-liked tastes is mirrored even in our statistics.

For instance, the quarterly TNS Sofres Tourism Demand Survey, which changed INSEE’s “Trip Survey” in 2004, gives a formatted checklist of actions that fall into synthetic and noble classes, similar to “sporting” or “cultural” actions, “boules” , “aperitif”, tanning, siesta, barbecue or karaoke, which subsequently don’t appear attention-grabbing. It is a approach of prioritizing the sources of tourism, praising discovery and denigrating recreation, playing, or buying.

Though lengthy a social phenomenon, “mass tourism” serves as a foil to advertise extra modern types of tourism similar to ecotourism. Even the busiest journey locations attempt to get away from it! Devastating and gregarious, the vacationer crowds are taunted as they embark on congested highways at trip departures or on the crowded seashores of vacationer spots with ready-made leisure actions, as a result of in our creativeness “the persons are up and the crowds are down,” as Victor Hugo wrote. One can stay at a loss in regards to the denigration of the lots, though it corresponds to democratization.

Odds in Corsica

The actual fact stays that heavy site visitors is having a unfavorable affect on sure locations and plenty of initiatives at the moment are making an attempt to protect sure areas. Final instance up to now: the Corsican Meeting voted to introduce quotas this summer time.

Three emblematic websites are affected: the Lavezzi Islands, the Bavella Needles and the Restonica Valley. To go to them it’s now essential to e-book prematurely, with precedence given to native residents. Even when these quotas are efficient, all we are able to say is that they lay off those that spend the least in vacationer places, i.e. day trippers. We’re not going to chase the very wealthy off Cavallo Island and destroy the port to make it extra “pure”!

Likewise, since June 26, entry to the Calanque de Sugiton in Marseille is by reservation. The heavy media protection of this measure exhibits that it has its finger on the heart beat, however we’re not fairly following a vacationer logic because the bays are largely frequented by locals. This quota coverage is extraordinarily revealing and is commonly a part of communications operations, even greenwashing, that divert consideration to what’s occurring elsewhere.

“hordes of vacationers”

Nostalgia can also be a robust anti-tourism driver. The “it was higher” feeds the bias of negativity, which is all of the stronger on this space as a result of the vacationer expertise is typically primarily based on the shock of discovery. The “first time” that one visits the place then turns into the yardstick for judging its improvement.

Let’s take the instance of the geologist Edgar Aubert de la Rüe, who lamented the arrival of vacationers in French Polynesia in his 1935 e-book Man and the Islands (Gallimard editions):

“On many islands, the arrival of hordes of vacationers [sic] contributed considerably to the disappearance of the painterly and native colour that was considered one of its nice sights. Thus, in French Oceania, pure beauties are preserved, and islands like Tahiti, Moorea and Raiatea nonetheless show their magnificent landscapes to the traveler’s questioning eyes, however the customs of the inhabitants, their lifestyle have basically modified and misplaced all originality. »

Nonetheless, the variety of vacationers who’re thought-about invaders on these islands doesn’t exceed 200 per yr!

The urbanization of the place is then thought-about as an incurable degradation. This urbaphobia, a part of tourismophobia, stems from the idea that the vacationer ought to flee town, whereas the overwhelming majority of vacationers are metropolis dwellers who go to locations with a excessive diploma of urbanity (seaside resorts, metropolises, amusement parks, and so on.).

The Côte d’Azur, which nonetheless attracts tens of millions of vacationers yearly, is commonly criticized from totally different quarters. To clarify the evolution of the which means of the phrase delusion, the Nathan Dictionary of Graeco-Roman Mythology invokes the French Riviera by itemizing “the ‘delusion’ of the French Riviera (bays of clear water surrounded by pine bushes lined) juxtaposes forests the place the cicadas are singing) to its concrete and polluted actuality”.

We might not admire Benidorm or Surfers Paradise, their presence proves that this rejection isn’t common and that tourism isn’t essentially a rejection of town. Too many tourism commentators proselytize and need for actuality. Would not we neglect that tourism has change into a vital a part of happiness in our societies?


By Jean-Christophe Homosexual, Affiliate of Geography, Scientific Director of the Côte d’Azur Tourism Institute (ITCA), College Professor on the IAE of Good, Migration and Society Analysis Unit, College of the Côte d’Azur

The unique model of this text was printed on The Dialog.