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disaster tourism

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1. Posted by wouterrr (Travel Guru 3379 posts) 10y

I just saw on the news. You can make a tour by bus trough New-Orleans to see how much this city is devastated (80% is destroyed or uninhabitable). The tour costs 35 US$. I think its the most stupied thing I've heard in times.

2. Posted by tway (Travel Guru 7273 posts) 10y

Do the profits go to helping rebuild the city? At least some good should come out of it...

3. Posted by wouterrr (Travel Guru 3379 posts) 10y

Quoting tway

Do the profits go to helping rebuild the city? At least some good should come out of it...

Good point but its still disaster tourism. Its sensation and those people have a great time over the disaster that took place. I think its disrespectful. If you want to do something you can also give money to a fund or whatever but that is my opinion....

4. Posted by tway (Travel Guru 7273 posts) 10y

Highgate Cemetery in London charges an entrance fee plus another fee to take pictures. On one hand it's profiting off death, in a way, yet on the other it helps to upkeep the place. In the end it's for the better good.

But I understand what you mean - there's something unsettling about turning grief into sensationalism to make a buck. I'm sure it's nothing at all like, for example, a humbling tour of Rwanda after the genocide...

5. Posted by wouterrr (Travel Guru 3379 posts) 10y

Quoting tway

But I understand what you mean - there's something unsettling about turning grief into sensationalism to make a buck. I'm sure it's nothing at all like, for example, a humbling tour of Rwanda after the genocide...

Yeah it has benefits. At one hand its disrespectful but it also is a way of pumping money to rebuilt. I know I would not be glad if a tourist (with a camera) is coming to have a look at my totally destroyed home. My dogs would love him...

6. Posted by GregW (Travel Guru 2635 posts) 10y

Quoting wouterrr

Its sensation and those people have a great time over the disaster that took place. I think its disrespectful.

Having not been on the tour, I can't say for sure, but it don't think we immediately have to assume that the tour is disrepectful to those who lost their lives or their homes.

I have been to a number of museums or monuments to disasters (both natural and man-made). Is going to see Auschwitz in Germany or the Vietnam memorial in Washington, DC disrespectful? In most cases I have seen, people are very respectful in situations like that, and walk away with a greater appreciation of the event.

Greg

7. Posted by wouterrr (Travel Guru 3379 posts) 10y

Quoting GregW

Is going to see Auschwitz in Germany or the Vietnam memorial in Washington, DC disrespectful? In most cases I have seen, people are very respectful in situations like that, and walk away with a greater appreciation of the event.

I agree partly with you but these are memorials and its purpose is to show respect to the disaster that happened (and to never let it happen again). Having a quick look at new-Orleans now is the same as have a sightseeing in Rwanda in 1994 after genocide. Or have a look at the death bodies of Auswitch just after WW2.

8. Posted by wouterrr (Travel Guru 3379 posts) 10y

Quoting GregW

Is going to see Auschwitz in Germany or the Vietnam memorial in Washington, DC disrespectful? In most cases I have seen, people are very respectful in situations like that, and walk away with a greater appreciation of the event.

Do you think people that wear shorts/sandals/white socks/baseball cap with huge camera's show respect? Its just for themselves...they are looking for sensation and are happy that this didn't happen to them...

9. Posted by tway (Travel Guru 7273 posts) 10y

They Grey Line bus company, which runs the tour, has this on their Web site:

"$3.00 will be donated to a non-profit organization of your choice (1 of 4) that has been directly affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita "

(They also rampantly mis-use quotation marks all over the site - what's a "local", someone who doesn't really live there?? - but that's neither here nor there.)

An article in the Travel Telegraph also claims "The history of the Mississippi river, the levee system and the region's oil and gas industries are to be discussed during the tour, but tourists will not be allowed off the bus to take photographs in the neighbourhoods visited."

So - to each our own opinion, I suppose...

10. Posted by james (Travel Guru 4136 posts) 10y

Quoting wouterrr

I just saw on the news. You can make a tour by bus trough New-Orleans to see how much this city is devastated (80% is destroyed or uninhabitable). The tour costs 35 US$. I think its the most stupied thing I've heard in times.

If 80% of the city is destroyed and the tour takes place on a minibus, and the minibus is presumably travelling on a road, then I take it that you are travelling through the 20% of the city which has not been destroyed. Therefore, what is there to see?