“Tourismophobia”, a pattern that comes from afar

The outlook for the 2022 vacationer season appears to be like promising. Internationally, the tide of the two-year pandemic appears to be turning for the higher: In January 2022, worldwide vacationer arrivals to the world greater than doubled (+130) based on the World Tourism Group (UNWTO). In comparison with 2021.

As for France, “a really, excellent season” is approaching, as Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, then Minister of Tourism Delegate, mentioned at a press convention final April.

The figures supported by the return of international vacationers present that there’s certainly a 24% enhance in bookings in comparison with 2019, and a 30% enhance if we take the turnover estimate.

“Biarritz will not be Biarritz”

The “post-Covid” prophets, who predicted a extra touristic world, appear flawed for now, with the mass return of vacationers to airports or seashores. That is adequate to reinvigorate tourismophobia, or touristophobia, which expresses hatred of tourism and/or vacationers, as demonstrated by the circumstances of Barcelona or Venice in parallel, with the theme of maximum tourism.excessive tourism). Nonetheless, even when traits don’t enhance, it is a protected wager that this touristophobia will proceed.

Certainly, it appears to be inherent in tourism, and has been for a very long time. As early as 1842, the dictionary of the French Academy provided the next definition in its textual content: Addition to the dictionary of the French Academy :

“There may be discuss of vacationers who journey to international nations purely out of curiosity or laziness, usually making some type of tour in nations visited by their compatriots. It’s sung on all British vacationers in France, Switzerland and Italy. This expression is borrowed from English.

Tourophobia is clearly mixed with anglophobia and is discovered on this planet definition of “absent”. Nice Common Dictionary By Pierre Larousse from the nineteenth century (1866-1877):

“The behavior amongst some peoples of the rich lessons to spend a part of their lives exterior of their nation, particularly of the English aristocracy: absenteeism is a scourge generally disguised as tourism”.

On the similar time, nice writers proliferated in the identical course. “Vacationers consider solely in issues far and well-known,” says George Sand. Victor Hugo wrote in 1843 that “Biarritz will quickly put ramps in its dunes, ladders in its cliffs, kiosks in its rocks, benches in its caves. Then Biarritz will not be Biarritz; It will likely be one thing colorless and bastard like Dieppe and Ostend.” Historical past will ultimately show him flawed…

“Vacationer and traveler”

Later, different intellectuals such because the academician Jean Mistler (1897-1988) will amuse us with their lovely phrases on tourism:

“Tourism is the trade of transporting individuals who could be higher at house to locations that might be higher with out them. »

This pejorative view of the vacationer has unfold extra extensively, for instance, within the tutorial world. As psychologist Dominique Picard famous in her 1995 e-book Rituals of Residing (Editions du Seuil):

« [Il] it’s modern to be overwhelmed: we won’t exit for the weekend, we’ll “write an article within the countryside”; we don’t take a trip, we go to our “land”; we’re not touring, we’re “going to the symposium”. And generally, in any case, if we’re speaking a couple of journey, a visit, or a enjoyable nature learn, it is as a result of we’re “identical to” “licensed” to get a bit distraction. »

What’s behind this stigma? From the earliest days of tourism, a distinction has been drawn between the “vacationer”, who’s a sheep herder and more and more topic to an trade that gives solely illusions, and the “traveler” who travels in locations with full consciousness. To make use of the title of Jean-Didier Urbain’s e-book analyzing this contemptuous prejudice, this lengthy custom of ridicule, and even hatred, of those “travelling fools” continues to be alive.

social humiliation

As we identified on the m-tourism convention final April, this may be seen as a type of social humiliation. The try and legitimize standard tastes is even mirrored in our statistics.

For instance, the quarterly TNS Sofres “tourism demand monitoring” survey, which changed INSEE’s “vacation survey” in 2004, supplies a formatted listing of actions that fall into the factitious and noble classes, reminiscent of “sporting” or “cultural” actions. So ignore the “boules”, “snack”, tanning, siesta, barbecue or karaoke that do not appear worthy of consideration. It’s a manner of prioritizing tourism assets, praising exploration, and defaming rest, playing or purchasing.

Though “mass tourism” has lengthy been a group phenomenon, it serves as a foil for selling extra modern types of tourism reminiscent of ecotourism. Even the busiest locations are attempting to get away from it! Crowds of disruptive and enterprising vacationers are teased throughout their trip escapades when they’re busy on congested highways or on the crowded seashores of vacationer resorts with prefabricated leisure actions, as a result of in our creativeness, “The persons are above and the gang is under,” as Victor Hugo wrote. Whereas it corresponds to a democratization, the humiliation of the mass could also be confused about it.

Quotas on Corse

The fact is that heavy visitors has destructive results on sure locations, and lots of initiatives are actually making an attempt to guard sure areas. The final instance thus far: the Corsican parliament voted to introduce quotas this summer time.

There are three symbolic websites: the Lavezzi islands, the Bavella needles and the Restonica valley. Visiting them will now must be pre-booked with precedence given to residents. Even when these quotas are efficient, we are able to say that they solely exclude those that spend the least in touristic locations, specifically excursionists. We won’t chase the very wealthy off the island of Cavallo and destroy the port to make it extra “pure”!

Equally, since 26 June, entry to Calanque de Sugiton in Marseille is by reservation. The sturdy media protection of this measure means that it’s time-honored, however we’re not precisely on vacationer logic as a result of the creeks are largely visited by locals. Very revealing, these quota insurance policies are sometimes a part of communications operations, and even the greenwashing that diverts consideration to what is going on on elsewhere.

“Crowd of vacationers”

Nostalgia can be a strong tourismophobic impetus. “Higher than earlier than” feeds the negativity bias that’s even stronger on this space, because the vacationer expertise generally withstands the shock of discovery. The “first time” visiting a spot then turns into a criterion for judging its evolution.

We will take for example in his e-book the geologist Edgar Aubert de la Rüe, who was disturbed by the arrival of vacationers in French Polynesia in 1935. man and islands (Gallimard variations):

“The arrival of crowds of vacationers on many islands [sic] contributed significantly to the disappearance of the picturesque and native colour, which was certainly one of its main sights. Such stays the pure great thing about French Oceania, and islands reminiscent of Tahiti, Moorea, and Raiatea nonetheless current their magnificent sights to the prying eyes of vacationers, however the habits and existence of the inhabitants have been profoundly modified and misplaced. all originality. »

Nonetheless, the variety of vacationers seen as invaders on these islands didn’t exceed 200 per yr!

The urbanization of the place is then thought of an irreparable degradation. Whereas this urbaphobia, which is a element of tourismophobia, stems from the idea that the vacationer ought to escape from town, the overwhelming majority of vacationers are metropolis dwellers who frequent excessive city areas (seaside resorts, metropolises, amusement parks, and so on.).

Nonetheless attracting hundreds of thousands of vacationers every year, the Côte d’Azur is commonly the topic of criticism from numerous backgrounds. Thus, to clarify the evolution of the which means of the phrase fable, the Nathan dictionary of Greco-Roman mythology refers back to the Côte d’Azur, evaluating it to the “fable” of the Côte d’Azur. to the concrete and soiled actuality of the forests the place the cicadas sing”.

Whereas we could not respect Benidorm or Surfers Paradise, their involvement proves that this rejection isn’t common and tourism isn’t essentially town’s rejection. Too many tourism commentators proselytize and crave the reality. Can we not overlook that tourism has develop into an integral part of happiness in our societies?


Jean-Christophe Homosexual, Assistant Geography, Scientific Director of the Côte d’Azur Institute of Tourism (ITCA), College Professor at Good IAE, Migration and Society Analysis Unit, College of the Côte d’Azur

The unique model of this text was revealed in The Dialog.