Sunday, October 11, 2009

Why it is not okay to vacation to those so-called 'hot new vacation spots'

You may have already heard from advertisements, friends, or family about the hottest new vacation spots such as Maldives, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, and India that offer more privacy, tropical surroundings, and a modern feel. So why, all of a sudden, have these destinations popped up as top vacation spots today? What has changed that has opened these places up to mass tourism? You are probably thinking that it is nothing more than large hotel chains deciding to take advantage of areas that are unique and so more appealing to the modern tourist--- a change from the same old trip to the Caribbean or tour of parts of Europe. But the fact is these large 'corporate' hotel chains have taken advantage of weaknesses within these countries in order to take up prime land, that was originally used by the people of the country for their livelihood, without proper permitting or government approval in order to profit.

In most of the aforementioned countries, disasters like the 2004 tsunami have caused devestation to inhabitants leaving an open door for private corporations like hotels to step in and pretend to make things better by jump starting a tourism industry which has done nothing more than displace citizens, shutdown employment opportunities, in turn, providing no benefit to the country as a whole.

So you're probably wondering how these corporations, as well as others like reconstruction companies, have been able to simply walk in and take over. Well, when a country is in need of financial aid due to a severe disaster like a tsunami or hyperinflation, large corporations like banks, hotels and construction companies, can easily take advantage of this situation by offering aid but for a price. The price is usually to open a country's borders up to globalization for a free market where multinational corporations buy up land or other companies that have tanked in order to profit. The key phrase is profiting by blackmailing.

What happens is that a country, that originally consisted of some public institutions owned and operated by a government, is turned into a playing field for private companies to buy what they please at a low cost with complete disregard for the citizens. Due to mass privatization, tens of thousands of people lose their jobs and, in turn, have very little money to survive. For these citizens, it becomes a game of survival rather than concerning themselves with what has happened to their government. This is the primary goal of multinational corporations, many of which originate from the US, a very capitalist and profit-driven nation.

So if you're ever planning a vacation, think twice about visiting places that have been turned into corporate profit-making factories--- places where there are hundreds of thousands of people living in poverty, when just down the street there are hotels offering vacation packages for $300+/night. Think about where you would be staying-- a beautiful hotel suite overlooking a pristine, sandy beach that was just a year or two ago home to thousands of people that were forced to move elsewhere due to an unforeseen disaster and promised aid that they never received.

2 comments:

  1. Your blog is very nice... i like your blog ....

    Madurai Hotels

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  2. Thank you for your comment Vinesh. I just finished reading 'The Shock Doctrine' by Naomi Kleine about disaster capitalism. It opened my eyes to what really goes on in the world and who the real terrorists are: multinational corporations like banks and investment companies.

    I noticed that you work at a hotel. I hope your hotel practices good business and considers the surrounding social and natural environment.

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