Protesters in Hong Kong are continuing protests at the city's international airport. The demonstrations come as the US warned its citizens to "exercise increased caution" when travelling there. Several other nations - including Australia, the UK, Ireland, Singapore and Japan - have also issued heightened travel advisories over what the US called "confrontational" protests in the Chinese territory.This isn't the first time the airport has become a protest site: On 26 July, thousands of pro-democracy demonstrators and airline staff held a sit-in there with the aim of reaching tourists and raising awareness of the protests' goals. Then on 5 August, more than 200 flights were cancelled amid a city-wide strike.Hong Kong is one of the world's most visited cities, but experts say the disruption is hurting its hospitality sector. So how much have the protests affected tourism?Hong Kong protests: All the context you need The background you need on the protests A brief history of Hong Kong … [Read more...] about Hong Kong protests: How badly has tourism been affected?
Finland has become the latest destination to introduce a tourism pledge, asking visitors to the country to promise to respect its nature, culture and inhabitants. Forming part of a wider sustainability drive that focuses on Finnish values and traditions, such as embracing the outdoors, foraging and recycling, the pledge requires visitors to “be more like a Finn” and includes the line “in my choices the climate comes first”. Iceland claimed to be the first to introduce the idea of inviting tourists to make a specific commitment to behave responsibly in July 2017. A year later it installed a Pledge button at Keflavík airport, to encourage more visitors to agree to leave places as they found them, park and sleep only where permitted but also to “take photos to die for without dying for them” and “When nature calls, I won’t answer the call on nature.” In December 2017 Palau, in the western Pacific, announced a compulsory … [Read more...] about Finland’s ‘Be more like a Finn’ campaign joins growing list of tourism pledge initiatives
The road tunnel to Gásadalur was built 15 years ago. Until then, residents of this tiny village on Vágar, one of the Faroe Islands, relied on intermittent boat access below the cliffs or, more commonly, braved the 45 degree-slope of a narrow track that climbs 500 metres over the mountain south of the village. The postman had to make the climb three times a week, making him one of the fittest men in the Faroes. It wasn’t just the postman who made that trek, coffins were carried over the mountain to the cemetery at Bøur 5km away, as were sick people who needed the doctor. Only 11 people live in Gasadalur today, and without the tunnel it would probably have become one of Faroes’ abandoned villages. Today, I’m doing the climb with several local men, plus three mathematicians from Washington DC, a pharmacist from Glasgow, a civil servant from London, two Finnish students and two biochemists from Bratislava. They’re all volunteers who have come to the … [Read more...] about Sustainable tourism: why the Faroe Islands closed for maintenance
A big solar park planned for western Anglesey would ruin the area for tourism and occupy good farming land, a new campaign group has claimed.Seven hundred people have signed a petition against Parc Solar Traffwll, near the RSPB Valley Wetlands reserve.Backers say it will generate enough power for 12,250 homes and cut carbon emissions equivalent to 5,500 cars.Due to the scheme's size, the decision lies with Welsh Government-appointed inspectors rather than councillors.With a capacity of 49.9MW, it is classed as a development of national significance, which applies to any scheme generating more than 10MW.The application covers seven separate parcels of land bordering Bryngwran, Llanfihangel yn Nhowyn and Caergeiliog, although developers say some land will be kept "panel free" for the benefit of local wildlife.Vaughan Evans from Bryngwran, a member of the Say No To Traffwll Solar Parc group, claimed Brexit uncertainty meant it was "quite crazy" to lose farm land which might be needed for … [Read more...] about Solar park in western Anglesey ‘would ruin the area for tourism’
It’s 9am on a hot August morning and timed tickets to visit Barcelona’s emblematic Sagrada Família basilica have already sold out. Only a few years ago you could turn up and queue for maybe half an hour to get in but with the soaring numbers of visitors to the city (around 30 million last year) anyone who arrives on spec is likely to be disappointed. Those who have tickets amuse themselves in the queue by taking selfies in front of the temple’s ornate nativity facade. Groups of tourists trail behind their lollipop-waving guides. Street vendors spread out their wares on the pavement – pirated designer sunglasses and tacky memorabilia - until a heavily-armed police patrol moves them on. At the stalls around the square you can buy soft toys, Gaudí ashtrays and Barça scarves. Antoni Gaudí’s masterpiece was begun in 1882 and is due for completion in 2026. The work was intended to be funded by penitent sinners – but there are more … [Read more...] about How tourism is killing Barcelona – a photo essay