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Wednesday, 13 December 2017 20:33

Bad Tourism Merchandising

Written by Dr Karel deLaat
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In travelling to a function recently, I experienced a not-so- joyous taxi cab ride through an inner city area.

The cab itself had set the mood because it was dirty, smelly and in a very poor state of repair.  Pieces were falling off the seat, the speaker from the radio was hanging out of the bottom of the dashboard and so on. 

As we drove through what was once an inner city industrial area, but is supposed to be now developing as an inner city tourist area, I was assailed by litter, graffiti and various forms of industrial junk collected in and near a variety of premises.

We have to ask ourselves in presenting an image like this for tourists, what would they think of this tourism merchandising?

It is all very well to talk about developing a tourism industry that does not destroy the natural quality of our environment.  However, who are we to police this circumstance if we cannot maintain a basic standard ourselves?

I have spoken previously about the need for public utilities that function on a seven day a week twenty-four hour a day basis, ensuring that the minimum standards of city hygiene, safety and general orderliness are maintained.  It certainly seems that some local action is required to get that sort of commitment.

I read with great interest recently of groups of citizens being formed to patrol areas of their city to identify problem spots in terms of security lighting etc.  This reminded me of many years ago working in a large enterprise where an appointed architect and assistant would inspect the premises daily to ensure that the integrity of a master plan had not been violated.  This organisation maintained an outstanding physical environment for its four million visitors per year whilst continuing to operate as a productive entity.

The issue in this type of circumstance seems to be directly related to a quality attitude.  Appropriate legislation, planned preventative maintenance and a vision that can be put into effect, are all key elements in preventing the types of problems mentioned here.


Regrettably, the gloss associated with public relations often obscures the reality of what happens on a day-to-day basis on the streets.  Only action by the people who are involved can bring attention to the problems and ensure that the appropriate resources are allocated.

The outcome for all concerned will be a more pleasant, safer city for residents and tourists alike.

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Read 561 times Last modified on Thursday, 14 December 2017 14:51

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