The usefulness & misery of tourism

Published on : Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The usefulness & misery of tourismIn a letter, Tan Hock Lim of Penang grieved over the fading charm of George Town by saying “Yearning for the old George Town” (The Star, Aug 14).

Old decaying cities across the globe have been rejuvenated quite successfully by marketing their best attractions to the global as well as local tourists. George Town is no exception either.

However, publicity of tourism does have a price which have been explained were by the writer in the letter. Usually, we forgo something to get something in return. There’s no free lunch.

Every 1 in 10 people in the world is doing tourism-related services. Majority of the millennial in Penang will have to leave this place in order to get better opportunities for employment somewhere else.

At the same time, the writer should understand that price rise in food items is not exclusively because of high demand by tourists. This is common everywhere, not only in George Town.

If George Town gets engulfed in gloom, the writer might not even require to line up for his char kuay teow since the seller had to shut down his shop as a result of poor business. The politicians and civil servants lecture on whatever limitations visitor inflow brings in a holistic manner.

One phrase sums it all: “You cannot have your cake and eat it too.”

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