As independent travellers, we like to assume that we’re above the workings of Tourist Zones. Look closely, and you’ll notice that some of the most colourful indie-traveller hangouts in the world -Panajachel in Guatemala, Dali in China , Dahab in Egypt – have much in common. Granted, these place retain their own geographical and cultural distinction, but each location shares a laid-back predilection for catering to aesthic and recreational needs of Western budget travellers.
Thus, keeping in mind that much of our time as travellers involes moving in and out of Trourist Zones, here is my tip sheet to help you make sense of things:
*Learn to identify Tourist Zones – There’s nothing necessarily wrong with a Tourist Zone, but it helps to know when you’re in one, a it will affect how you relate to people. Tourist Zones include airport , hotels, bus and train stations , major city centerss, historical monuments and any place where travellers congregate in large numbers – including sleepy backpacker hangouts.
*Mind your manners – Though interaction with locals in Tourist Zones can often be impersonal and transaction-based ,be sure to abide by the simple rules of courtesy.Even when dealing with pushy vendors and aggressive touts, a firm , courteous “no thanks” is always better that angry rebuff.
*Dare to travel outside of Travel Zones – Invariably, the easiest way to get out of Tourist Zones and inti more authentic setting is to visit villages and neighbourhoods that aren’t in any guidebooks or travel websites – places where other travellers never think to go.
“Think About Your Next Trip”