As we begin 2018, Marianna Sigala (
@mariannasigala) proposes a new hashtag and concept to review current tourism trends, in particular the rise of #MeTourism (which in this case does not stand for tourism in Maine).
Sigala’s critique of selfies and social media sites is spot on. Something has changed that has been abetted by technology. Selfies and the focus on the self is nothing new. Tourism – from the experience to the marketing and promotion – has been often focused on the self. “Experiential travel” is rarely about how locals experience tourism but rather what the visitor sees, hears, eats, smells, touches, learns and does.
There have to be more mindful ways to use the social web to encourage tourism to be more conscious, more responsible, mutually beneficial. Selfies yes! But we also need unselfies.
We can change things, perhaps with a philosophy of us rather than them, of #WeTourism as an upgrade to #MeTourism.
We need better conversations among tourism players – the visitors and locals. We need more compassion, empathy and understanding of the connections created by simple passage from one place to another.
Are we self-aware of how communication has changed in the past 30 years and if so, do we reflect on where things are heading? Do we discuss the technologies and the role they play on understanding and selling and benefiting from travel and tourism?
We will explore this in depth during Responsible Travel Week, February 8-12.
- What are examples of #MeTourism at its finest? At its worst?
- What are the hidden costs of selfie tourism?
- Show us the tourism portals which answer frequently asked questions from the point of view of visitors. Of locals.
- Point us to events which bridge the digital divide
Elsewhere on the Web
#MeTourism: The hidden costs of selfie tourism – The Conversation
— Australia Great 🐨👍 (@AustraliaGreat) January 2, 2018
— The Conversation (@ConversationEDU) January 2, 2018