How to be a good tourist? How to be a good tourist in Barcelona.

How to be a good tourist?

How to be a good tourist in Barcelona.
How can you be a good tourist? What is a bad tourist? What is the difference between a traveller and a tourist? 

A good tourist help preserve and nurture the destination they visit.  A bad tourits helps erode and destroy it. A good tourist is a goodwill ambassador for his own country and culture and indirectly promotes tourism in their own country. A bad tourist is a badwill ambassador and deters people from visiting their country. A good tourist see himself/herself as a guest in another's house and respects the rules, customs and local population and leaves a contribution in the right places. A bad tourist is a gatecrasher who disturbs the local rules, customs and leaves a contribution in the wrong places.

Here are some tips on how to be a good tourist.

Remember you are a guest. Be respectful of the local population, customs and rules. For you this is a vacation, but you are wandering into other people's daily lives. They have to work, eat and sleep undisturbed every day just like you do back home. So respect that and don't disturb neighbours especially if you are in an apartment. Remember also that you are an ambassador for your country and culture too. Tourism in your country might be important so behave in the same way you would expect visitors to your country to behave. Be a guest. Be thankful that you are welcomed. Show gratitude. Show interest. Be polite. Be nice. Be kind.  Don't complain if things are not the same as in your country. If you want things to be the same as in your country, why leave your country. That's the point isn't it. To see how other peole live?

Support local culture. Don't buy cheap souvenirs that are probably made in China. Look for the hand-made artisan craft souvenirs. Then you will be helping support local familes, traditions and customs. Ok. A fridge magnet is fine, but many of the tourist shops are full of mass produced cr*p made in factories in cheap labour countries. You are not getting a real memento from Barcelona when you buy a key ring with a bull on it. By supporting tacky touristy souvenir shops, you are helping edge out more traditional shops. Try buying more authentic gifts like handmade fans, food items like Spanish Turron. If you only shop at brand names then you are helping wipe out smaller family shops. Why cross the globe to see a street full of international chains and mass produced souvenirs. Barcelona is fighting not to become a huge shopping mall or a city cruise ship and you can help by appreciating and supporting local restaurants and local food customs such as churros, orchata and avoiding the large chains every day.

4. Don't visit the burger joints. Of course there should be hamburger restaurants in a modern city, but leave them for the locals. As a tourist if you always eat burgers and french fries you are helping replace traditional food shops with burger chains.  The more tourists support the international chains the more money they make to open in even more locations in the city centre. In Barcelona this means fewer authentic and quality restaurants in the city centre and more fries. More irish pubs and fewer vermut bars. And so on.

5. Don't drink or party to excess in the city center. Rowdy night clubbers disturb local families with children and the elderly. Unless you live in the Vatican city where there are few Irish bars, then presumably you have many pubs and bars in your hometown. So why waste money in cities that often charge tourists more for alchohol anyway. And why waste the next day sleeping it off and missing a beautiful day. Or sleeping on the beach where you might get robbed. Go the clubs, pay the entrance fee and have a couple of drinks but don't lose control and wreck it all for yourself and your host city.

6. Don't complain. Different folks, different strokes. You might be the customer and you might be paying, but you are not always right in someone else's country. If you neighbour at home invited you round, would you tell him what's wrong with his house. Of course not. Just because you are paying does not mean you can dictate and bully locals and local establishments. You travel to see how others live, not to criticise them for not being as perfect as you think you and your country is. You can in some cases respectfully give them your opinion, but no more.

7. Don't judge. First appearances are often wrong and you might see things in a different light if you knew more about other peoples' lives. Then you might understand more about their business.

8. Don't compare. Comparing food in Barcelona with food in Paris, or prices in London with prices in Melbourne doesn't really make much sense and can create negative impressions. The prices in different cities reflect the cost and standard of living. Bad tourists think that they either are being ripped off all the time  - or are entitled to cheap deals. A good tourist accepts the local price level and then decides if they want to pay.

So travel, see the world, but be a good tourist!

And don't forget to visit Barcelona.

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Last Updated on Saturday, 04 November 2017 00:19