Arthur Frommer on ‘Touristic Vandalism’

Travel Blog  •  Eva Holland  •  06.09.08 | 12:17 PM ET

imageIn March, we heard about the Finnish tourist who chipped an earlobe off one of Easter Island’s moai. Then, two weeks ago, mystery vandals took a hammer and screwdriver to Stonehenge. Vandalism at major cultural sites is nothing new, but with these recent incidents, it’s had a higher profile lately. In this Globe and Mail story, Arthur Frommer offers a possible solution:

“One of the problems of the North American tourist is that we tend to fling ourselves on a moment’s notice to all sorts of exotic destinations without spending so much as a single evening in a public library reading about the history and culture of the places we’re about to visit,” he told writer Dave McGinn. “Advanced reading is the key to successful tourism, but it’s also the key to having respect for the cultures you’re visiting and thus not engaging in this vandalism—because that’s really what it is, it’s touristic vandalism.”

Photo by dannysullivan via Flickr (Creative Commons)

Eva Holland is co-editor of World Hum. She is a former associate editor at Up Here and Up Here Business magazines, and a contributor to Vela. She's based in Canada's Yukon territory.

1 Comment for Arthur Frommer on ‘Touristic Vandalism’

Amy 06.09.08 | 2:43 PM ET

Btw, you know there’s tons of very old vandalism at Stonehenge. None other than Christopher Wren carved his name there.

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