“We have forgotten what tourism is really about” – Travel

In times of the corona, our last glimmer of hope is also on the slope: the holy farewell. Anyone who complains about this is incomprehensible. Wrong, says Chris De Smedt, Head of Tourism at erasmus University. “Tourism arose from a basic need: the need for peace and relaxation. This need remains legitimate even during the coronary crisis.”

Due to the Corona crisis, many holiday plans fall into the water. For the young people it is about the one festival that has been looking forward to for so long, for others it is about flying to a sunny country with a beach, good food and the lack of worries. This encourages reflection. Is travel a necessary relaxation or is it a status symbol?

The economic value of tourism is not a topic of discussion. Peter De Wilde, CEO of Tourism Flanders, gave clear figures on 15 April 2020 in the VTM: 4.6 percent of gross domestic product and employment for 126,000 people. Exactly what is contained in these figures is not clear, because catering is also included in this calculation. In any case, the tourism sector is extensive. It is about both Denland and foreign tourism and holidays in your own country. According to StatBel, you will meet 19.1 million Belgians who book a holiday at home or abroad every year. In addition to leisure travellers, business travellers are also affected.

Tourism is a relatively young academic field of research. The economic impact of tourism on society is no stranger to this. Tourism is a big business. A luxury product that was grown exponentially from the 1950s onwards, including the arrival of the family car. A product of modernity. Hard work all year round, but fortunately there is paid leave for all, enforced by the unions already in the thirties (1936).

The general declaration on human rights is stated in Article 24: ‘Everyone is entitled to rest and leisure, including a reasonable reduction in working hours, and to regular paid leave’. Clear. Yes, but in these times it is selfish to lie awake from your holiday. or not?

We have forgotten what tourism is really about

Tourism arose from a basic need: the need for peace and relaxation. For many people, the journey is the ultimate way out, a way to escape from everyday life. The fact that it has become a luxury product has to do with the business-oriented society and our desire for status. However, the need for relaxation is more than a wish or a wish. In addition, our curiosity to discover new places and cultures or the desire to meet people. The motives for travel are manifold, some of which remain legitimate, even in the age of the corona.

From tourism research, we call for this reflection on the role of tourism in our society to be put back on the table. We have forgotten what tourism is really about, because it has acquired economic importance above all. Politicians are taking advantage of opportunities to integrate tourism into their policies, because tourism also shines a nation abroad. Human value has shifted into the background.

Nevertheless, tourism professionals know that this is not entirely true. Tourism Flanders pays great attention to participation in public holidays and has anchored sustainable tourism in its forward-looking action plan. The media sometimes dare to lose sight of this, because package holidays are used as a reference for tourism. That is why we regret this frightening approach. The need to become a mass tourism is dangerous and not right.

Reassessment of leisure time

We call for the role of leisure, leisure and tourism to commemorate the role of leisure, leisure and tourism in the transition to a more humane and ecological world. The word recreation is now understood as recklessly relaxed, while in the original sense it is about re-creating itself after a time of tension or persistent aimlessness. In a neoliberal society that now lives digitally even more than it used to, and where pressure continues to increase, we do not consider it a luxury to reassess relaxation and recreation and to teach people to think about the role and importance of work and leisure. The annual flight-to-sun holiday is in the Corona Exit strategy. Rightly so. The alternative on the coast or the Ardennes is short-lived, as there are a number of holiday needs.

Seeing relaxation as a primary need will not all agree. And yet we are pursuing that. Today, recreation near home is appreciated again. Leisure is too valuable to be frivolous, and it offers real solutions to real needs: get fresh air and let off steam, develop new talents, stay fit or volunteer to help other people. We consider it necessary to put leisure, leisure, recreation and tourism into play. Leisure deserves more attention.

That holidays will be different this year need not be negative. Above all, let us not avoid the post-corona debate. We ask the companies that offer tourist leisure products to do so in a socially responsible way (further). We call on the government to act on governance, for example by banning the promotion of short flights, by supporting local initiatives or by making public space more attractive and greener. The economy will also be in the running.

Chris De Smedt is Head of Training and Lecturer in Leisure at Erasmus University in Brussels.

Due to the Corona crisis, many holiday plans fall into the water. For the young people it is about the one festival that has been looking forward to for so long, for others it is about flying to a sunny country with a beach, good food and the lack of worries. This encourages reflection. Is travel a necessary relaxation or is it a status symbol? The economic value of tourism is not a topic of discussion. Peter De Wilde, CEO of Tourism Flanders, gave clear figures on 15 April 2020 in the VTM: 4.6 percent of gross domestic product and employment for 126,000 people. Exactly what is contained in these figures is not clear, because catering is also included in this calculation. In any case, the tourism sector is extensive. It is about both Denland and foreign tourism and holidays in your own country. According to StatBel, you will meet 19.1 million Belgians who book a holiday at home or abroad every year. In addition to leisure travellers, business travellers are also affected. Tourism is a relatively young academic field of research. The economic impact of tourism on society is no stranger to this. Tourism is a big business. A luxury product that was grown exponentially from the 1950s onwards, including the arrival of the family car. A product of modernity. Hard work all year round, but fortunately there is paid leave for all, enforced by the unions already in the thirties (1936). The general declaration on human rights is stated in Article 24: ‘Everyone is entitled to rest and leisure, including a reasonable reduction in working hours, and to regular paid leave’. Clear. Yes, but in these times it is selfish to lie awake from your holiday. or not? Tourism arose from a basic need: the need for peace and relaxation. For many people, the journey is the ultimate way out, a way to escape from everyday life. The fact that it has become a luxury product has to do with the business-oriented society and our desire for status. However, the need for relaxation is more than a wish or a wish. In addition, our curiosity to discover new places and cultures or the desire to meet people. The motives for travel are manifold, some of which remain legitimate, even in the age of the corona. From tourism research, we call for this reflection on the role of tourism in our society to be put back on the table. We have forgotten what tourism is really about, because it has acquired economic importance above all. Politicians are taking advantage of opportunities to integrate tourism into their policies, because tourism also shines a nation abroad. Human value has shifted into the background. Nevertheless, tourism professionals know that this is not entirely true. Tourism Flanders pays great attention to participation in public holidays and has anchored sustainable tourism in its forward-looking action plan. The media sometimes dare to lose sight of this, because package holidays are used as a reference for tourism. That is why we regret this frightening approach. The need to become a mass tourism is dangerous and not right. We call for the role of leisure, leisure and tourism to commemorate the role of leisure, leisure and tourism in the transition to a more humane and ecological world. The word recreation is now understood as recklessly relaxed, while in the original sense it is about re-creating itself after a time of tension or persistent aimlessness. In a neoliberal society that now lives digitally even more than it used to, and where pressure continues to increase, we do not consider it a luxury to reassess relaxation and recreation and to teach people to think about the role and importance of work and leisure. The annual flight-to-sonne holiday is in the Corona Exit strategy. Rightly so. The alternative on the coast or the Ardennes is short-lived, as there are a number of holiday needs. Seeing tension as a primary need, not everyone will agree. And yet we are pursuing that. Today, recreation near home is appreciated again. Leisure is too valuable to be frivolous, and it offers real solutions to real needs: get fresh air and let off steam, develop new talents, stay fit or volunteer to help other people. We consider it necessary to put leisure, leisure, recreation and tourism into play. Leisure deserves more attention. That holidays will be different this year need not be negative. Above all, let us not avoid the post-corona debate. We ask the companies that offer tourist leisure products to do so in a socially responsible way (further). We call on the government to act on governance, for example by banning the promotion of short flights, by supporting local initiatives or by making public space more attractive and greener. The economy will also be in the running.