Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.


Turns out that disasters nowadays do not seem to turn away tourists for long.

From a story I wrote on trends in Disaster Tourism that is in today's paper:

The number of leisure travelers visiting tourist destinations hit by trouble has in some cases bounced back to a level higher than before disaster struck.
"This new fast recovery of tourism we are observing is kind of strange," said John Koldowski, director for the Strategic Intelligence Center of the Bangkok-based Pacific Asia Travel Association. "It makes you think about the adage that any publicity is good publicity."

Is the acceptance of disaster a good thing - because it shows people are no longer so frightened to travel - or is it a bad thing - because it shows a tolderance for bad things happening in the world?


A tolerance for bad things happening in the world?

And the point of intolerance for bad things would be?

This is pisspoor blogging

The increase in traffic might simply be linked to the large number of reservation cancellations by frightened clients after bad events happen, and the resulting oversupply leading to downward presssure on hotel and air ticket prices, which in turn attract shrewd shoppers.

I agree with MostlyVowels that economics play a big role. Price signals travel faster these days, something capacity owners may not be used to and they end up setting the price below the profit maximising level.
There could also be an element of human nature involved, I am thinking of the old saying that "lightning doesn't strike twice..."

It makes for a more interesting visit if you go somewhere that's been struck by disaster.

So it may be that price has become more important than news of danger.

Wonder why that is happening now, but not before. (Tour operators I spoke with said this bouncback was a new phenomenon.)

If a place has already had a disaster then it is less likely to have a disaster in future -- it has been pre-disastered.

PS: Joi, The Whistle Song = one of the best, along with JD Plastic Dreams.

I don't know, Mark, sometimes I create my own disasters on holiday: I once bathed in a Thai family's entire supply of drinking water, having mistaken it for a bathtub.

people are less sensitive. we don't feel that much anymore.

One thing that confused me when I was living in New York City with my family was when the buildings came down and attracted hordes of gawkers that I had to push through on my way into work. Some asked me to photograph them in front of the smoking ruins. I kept walking. I heard others saying they had travelled specially to see the site as though the recent and horrible death of all those people made for a nice day out. I don't understand how a person can look at things that way. It's like hearing someone died in a car crash and travelling specially to that part of the highway to absorb the 'atmosphere'. There's something very disassociated about that sort of fascination.

Humanity is slowly losing its respect for death and destruction. Instead,its becoming a fasination for many to grok and gawk incidents and death. take a look at the number of pictures that are posted online -getty images has such gory stuff and yet people are interested in such stuff. Take for e.g of a beheading that takes place-within mintues it swarms globally.

The think the higher question is, what is this new morbidity and facination within humanity ? Or have we been so over exposed that we no longer have feelings ?

Just in : tour operators are charging 35 bucks for viewing new orleans dome, lavees and that old age home !! Is that appropriate ??

/pd: that is literal disaster tourism. Incredible.

Disaster tourism is definitely on the rise, seemingly alongside the rise in disasters? Check this out from the Gray Lines bus tour website in the US.


"An eyewitness account of the events surrounding the most devastating natural disaster on American soil!"

Of course $3 of your $35 ticket goes to charity.


Richard: That is incredible!