Sevilla is being promoted by the tourist board as the most famous unknown city in the world. 🤷🏻♀️
If there’s one thing the latest holiday long weekend (October 8-12) has shown it’s that nobody gives a fuck about so-called sustainable tourism. What l saw in the bars and in the streets was total greed in action and it was not pretty. Visitors desperate for an “experience” and a tourism/hospitality industry that only cares about massive profit. All backed by the government that miraculously discovered the Covid data it needed to justify the elimination of all restrictions just in time for the biggest national holiday between summer and Christmas. Coincidence?
Most people appeared to have thrown caution to the wind in terms of Covid (no masks or social distancing AT ALL) while hotels were crowing about having a 90% occupation rate, and many bars were allowing way too many people inside… back to normal! What short memories we have. And how stupid we are to blindly believe that we are safe at “Level 0” when just a few days previously we were not. I get it, sort of. People are tired of being locked down, shut in, etc. Except most people haven’t been. They just haven’t been able to go on holiday abroad without testing or pack themselves into tapas bars. Boo fucking hoo.
I truly see this sudden return to “normal” in Sevilla with cheap flights, hordes of mindless (and maskless) tourists milling about everywhere, streets clogged, bars and restaurants overflowing, as not only a special kind of hell, but also a reaffirmation that people, at heart, are basically selfish assholes.
I mean, have we not learned anything during these past almost 20 months?? Have we not learned to re-evaluate what is truly valuable to us? Have we not given one thought to the idea that our past NORMAL was in part what caused this most recent global catastrophe? Apparently not. And even though there has been a lot of press about the concept of sustainable tourism, it looks like that is just so much lip service. No such thing exists at the moment.
These two so-called “safe travel” stickers (apparently there are others) are being promoted by ICTE and WTTC but do little more then create a false sense of security. Anyone can get one of these online just by PROMISING to obey the protocols. No inspections, no control, no nuthin. Worse than useless, they are actually dangerous.
Since our borders were flung open again this past Monday, the very first day after our three-month lockdown, coronavirus infections have been on the rise throughout Spain.
What has really made me feel sick this past week is seeing people on Twitter discussing their summer holiday plans, saying shit like “let’s go to Spain or Italy, they have way fewer cases than we do!” as if… what?? Think about that for a minute. How is it okay for you to go somewhere without even considering the people who live where you are going? The people you are likely to end up infecting. And who the actual FUCK decides to go abroad on FUCKING HOLIDAY during a FUCKING GLOBAL PANDEMIC? The mind reels.
Just to be clear… I am far from anti-tourism. My entire business relies on tourists, and especially from the UK and US. But we have all seen the whole tourism thing spiralling out of control over the past few years so maybe this had to happen. Problem is that people keep refusing to believe things can’t just go back to the way they used to be. Well, they can’t and they won’t. Because they never should have been that way. So deal.
They are finally pedestrianising Calle Mateos Gago, where l lived for 18 years (just above those orange trees on the top left pic). I walked all through Barrio Santa Cruz the other day and didn’t see one shop or one bar open, even beyond the street works. Why? Because nobody lives there anymore. This is what happens when you turn a previously vibrant and thriving neighbourhood into a tourist ghetto.
This was rather a cheering sight during my first (and probably last for some time) river walk since lockdown. Because upon seeing this very dead scooter on the river bank I realised that I hadn’t actually seen any of these annoying things these past couple of months, not from my balcony nor during quick trips to the supermarket. Obviously most were being (mis)used by tourists, riding them on pavements and leaving them just anywhere all over the city, so this has been one of the other positive aspects to getting our city back.
Then I read this morning that the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has named Sevilla (where they held their annual global summit last year) as one of the five travel destinations IN THE WORLD to receive their new Safe Travel Stamp, to “reassure and restore the confidence of travellers and make travel safe again”.
We are excited that Saudi Arabia, which is Chair of the G20 tourism group, as well as popular destinations such as Cancun, one of the biggest destinations in the world, Portugal, one of the fastest growing countries in Europe and the holiday cities of Barcelona and Seville, amongst others, are among the first destinations to back the stamp and implement global standard protocols to recover faster.