Monday, January 15, 2018

The Tourist Town: Boon or Blight?

Newport, Rhode Island                      Photo By Salt Water New England

30 comments:

  1. From the details in this photo, definitely a blight.

    slf

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  2. Blight...sadly.....But like the VW "Think."

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    1. I think you meant VW THING.

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    2. Auto-Correct. Worst invention ever.

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  3. It's not so bad. Think about how wonderfully tranquil everything it seems when the season closes! I'm happy to see local businesses make the most of the tourist trade, but do wish that all would be respectful of others and the environment (including noise pollution!).

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  4. Blight, notice the "untucked" shirts..

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  5. Few places I'm this country have meaningful tourism. Newport should be thankful for the revenue that comes, and stays!

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  6. Not unlike downtown Portland, Maine in the summer.

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  7. Oooo.... mixed emotions on this one. Not living in New England (alas), I am a tourist when I visit about once a year. But I don't like being in a crowded place with loads of other tourists, so we visit during the off season. We also get a better feel for places that way. We have even visited every New England state in January and February! Loved it all!

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    1. I understand Susan’s sentiment.

      We are New England tourists and spent many weekends on Block Island with friends at their home.

      On the other hand, we own a weekend home ina very popular fly fishing area and the influx of tourists during peak season can be frustrating. Although i will say, 99% of fly fishermen/women are excellent visitors.

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    2. Yes, fly fishing brings out the best in people's souls -- tranquility, helpfulness, patience, meditation, fellowship, and long stretches of silence in tune with nature.

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    3. Nicely put Robert, I find that to be true. We have met many nice people walking by our house on the way to or from the stream.

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  8. I live in Palm Springs, CA. It is very different from New England (where I spent my college years, and which I visit when I can), but certainly a tourist (and "snowbird") town. Tourists are to be tolerated; their spending supports the local economy. You learn how to minimize the adverse impact their presence would otherwise have on your life. Without tourism, the Palm Springs area would have a lot less in the way of available goods and services, not to mention entertainment, museums, etc. (Amazon.com gets you only so far. Yes, very far, but not all the way.) I believe the same is true in tourist towns worldwide. With proper zoning and decent law enforcement, the blight factor can be minimized. (Sometimes it can be too minimized, as when the late Sonny Bono, when he was mayor of Palm Springs prior to be elected to Congress, killed Spring Break in Palm Springs. Yes, it used to be on the rowdy side here during Spring Break, but there was an element of excitment that we haven't seen since.)

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    1. You probably wouldn't want to know what the general public thinks of you, either.

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    2. Yeppers, it is not the crowds it is all those people.

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    3. Charles Schulz, via Linus, said - "I love mankind. It's the people I can't stand!"

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  10. This is a hot topic for "locals" of course. Personally I would never consider a beautiful popular tourist town to be "blight." Congested, chaotic and crowded with shops hawking "local" kitschy souvenirs made in China is part of the deal. I wish it wasn't so. But people enjoying New England and supporting the local economy is good. I used to let it drive me crazy until last summer.

    C&Ped from a post of mine:

    As a result of my overall experience I’ve reflected on my own welcoming spirit that can sometimes be lacking towards Maine’s summer tourists, those people who come here simply to take all of the parking spaces and add congestion to our roads! There are some days that I believe that such an absurdity is indeed indisputable fact. The reality is that we are all visitors and stewards of many things in our life; instead of seeing occupied spaces I will now think of the many wonderful people enriching our state. A more welcoming world filled with people seeking renewal and spiritual respite is a blessed one!

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  11. I like tourist towns. Vacations are boring without tourists to watch. My friends who claim to dislike touristy areas are really just expressing their disdain for people to whom they consider themselves superior.

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  12. I think there are other things, too. Even if you owned a cottage in a beach town, as the family did in North Carolina, you're never a local. As it was, you sure weren't able to be there that often anyway. In some places that have become popular retirement places, something similar happens, even when you become a full-time resident. To the locals, probably including those from whom you bought your house, you're a "come here," and allowances are made. You bring you big-city attitudes and rules with you to the irritation of the local folks who still might stop in the middle of the road when they pass, to talk to one another. Eventually, though, if you live long enough, you become a sort of local yourself and start complaining about the same things, like leash laws and other government tyranny. The real-life place I'm thinking of is mostly on the water but by no stretch of the imagination a beach town. The more desirable places are on the water where few of the locals ever had a house.

    Does New England have "beach towns?"

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    1. To Blue Train's observation, I remember when a couple who taught at my school retired to a small town outside Woodstock, Vermont. The wife, an animal lover, announced her arrival by circulating a petition to abolish hunting. Needless to say, hunting has been a right of passage in rural New England since the first Europeans. Once she realized the error of her ways, she abandoned her campaign and spent the next three decades blending in with the population. When one moves from one tribe to another, it's wise not to take a spear.

      MGC

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    2. We have the annual Ban the Winter Parking Ban campaign, when new arrivals realize they can't park on the streets overnight from November 'til April.

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    3. Well said and good advice MGC 11:07!!! PA

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  13. Well, as someone who attended Navy Officer's Candidate School in Newport, I will always fall back on THE BRICK ALLEY PUB and the Clark Cook House where several libations always seem to help.

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  14. We live in a town that gets quite a bit of tourists at varying times of the year. You can always pick them out. Whenever we travel, we go out of our way to act, behave, and dress like the locals so as not to be spotted. ;) --Holly in PA

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  15. I feel for those who live in tourist areas. We live in the five college area and have a student invasion for 9 months out of the year. All of them seem to have cars so traffic and parking is a challenge. There are restaurants that we just can't get into until summer and the noise from parties is often disruptive.

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  16. Let's look a it another way. Forty years ago a nice home near the sound in Barnstable was about as much as a comparable place in a midwestern city. Now the on on Cape Cod may be ten times as much...let's blame the finance money.
    Is that a worse consequence than those tourists in t shirts with strollers lapping up ice cream?

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  17. Blight is what they did to Lobster Bar - removing the tanks!

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  18. Unfortunately without tourism a lot of these beautiful small towns like Newport would have been razed decades ago, or would have suffered to the point of being ghosts of their former selves. Gone would be the buildings and charm. Without the unglamorous old industries that once thrived in New England; the men and women that once made their fortunes living and building in these locales would abandon these towns like so many have done before.

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  19. The price of lobster rolls in Maine. That is all.

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