Thursday, 2 June 2011

Holiday Snaps: Tourism feeding on exploitation

The false joys of tourism

Whilst on holiday it is easy for to be carried away with the fun and relaxation and miss the more serious issues about the destinations that welcome us as tourists.

The by-product s of tourism, whilst it offers great benefit and profit to the locality in general and employment to the populace that might be otherwise unemployment, it rarely is the whole story.

For each night that I went out for a walk along the promenade, it was hard enough running the gauntlet of restaurateurs plying for trade amongst the competition, it ranged from mild-mannered interest to near aggression, the tourism almost none the wiser except where they get pulled by limb and the difference between persuasion and physical abuse is a matter of definition.

The myth precedes

However, some rather unhealthy stereotype or reputation appears to inform some other people about people of colour in terms of sexual prowess; people were overtly and obtusely rude about it but for another more sinister purpose.

They first appeared friendly and curious, and then on noticing I was alone, they suggested they could put more enjoyment in my holiday. They had girls from Russia, Bulgaria or Africa that I could choose to spend the night with.

They had plenty girls in their words and for the right price I could have “jigi-jigi” which I think is international parlance for sex.

Trafficked for the sex trade

Knowing the unpalatable and nasty rise in human-trafficking for sexual slavery, I could only imagine that these vendors who were inveterate pimps were part of the network of nasty criminals making a living on the suffering of vulnerable, defenceless people who probably had no means of exercising their rights and challenging for justice.

The least I could do was vehemently decline every offer and briskly walk away from the more persistent ones. I would aver that tourist resorts with marine ports like Marmaris will have ample supply of trafficked women and they offer a criminal income streams within an almost pretentious idyllic resort.

All-inclusive slavery

The other group of the exploited are as a result of the sorts of deals we have for holidays. More travel agencies are offering all-inclusive package holiday deals which very well benefit the customers who do not have to worry about the additional cost of meals and drinks.

However, speaking to the ever helpful staff at many of these hotels, they put in 10-hour days, 6 days a week. They are literally over-worked and possibly underpaid but cannot for the ready labour ditch their jobs for others with better conditions.

Upon that, they bear the brunt of disgruntled, unsatisfied and difficult to please customers who are seeking their money’s worth and more without any consideration for the fellow human-being worked to the bone to offer them a use service.

Unhelpful reviews

For instance, I read the nastiest and most horrible reviews about the hotel where I spent a week, I cannot say the food was gourmet standard but it was no way as bad as certain reviews made it out to be.

The rooms were spacious, clean and well catered, after chatting to another guest we wondered if those people visited the same hotel.

However, we should still spare a thought for those whose sweat make the whole lot we enjoy in all-inclusive holidays happen for the little they earn and the selfless service they offer.

Things will not change for them if we continually seek cheaper deals without considering the consequences and the trade-offs down the line.

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