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The tourist tax Punishing the poor again?

#1 User is offline   Macros 

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Posted 25 April 2024 - 06:42 PM

No grand opening post, just a question.

I understand the problems of over tourism, and the strain is puts on locals, and over busy tourist spits are shit.

But
But

Tourist taxes only punish the poorer folk.

Debate
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#2 User is offline   Gorefest 

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Posted 25 April 2024 - 07:24 PM

Isn't tourism per definition a priviliged activity that intrinsically favours the rich? Don't see how a £5 top-up to cross a Venice bridge adds a significant sum to the cost of the flights and hotels. As long as you can find airbnbs for a fraction of the cost of a hotel room, any tourism tax is a drop in the ocean and not the real problem.
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#3 User is offline   Lady Bliss 

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Posted 26 April 2024 - 12:46 AM

We donít have tourism tax but we have lots of toll roads that are allegedly supposed to pay for the roads, but research says those roads were paid for years ago and itís now just a profit thing. At least here in Texas. In San Francisco you had to pay tolls to cross bridges.
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#4 User is offline   Azath Vitr (D'ivers 

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Posted 26 April 2024 - 11:41 AM

If it nudges people away from wasting money on stuff that isn't really going to enhance their lives (or human progress)... it may actually be positive for individuals in proportion to how much it would detract from their ability to spend on other things. If it's high enough to dissuade people from wasting the money.

So it should probably be much higher for most tourist sites. There's rarely much of any point to going to them in person these days. (Spending significant time in another country and observing and interacting with the locals---away from "tourist sites", especially those most overrun with tourists---can still be beneficial. Though with the internet and easy access to information you can get much of the same understanding without having to actually travel.)

Religious sites are a bit trickier, since poor people are disproportionately religious, and may be willing to spend recklessly on religion. And many sites are quasi-religious (for example, religious art, or art treated as a religion, magical contagion , etc.).


[Edit: also, the tax would ideally scale with income and assets.]

This post has been edited by Azath Vitr (D'ivers: 26 April 2024 - 11:47 AM

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#5 User is offline   Cause 

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Posted 26 April 2024 - 02:55 PM

View PostAzath Vitr (D, on 26 April 2024 - 11:41 AM, said:

So it should probably be much higher for most tourist sites. There's rarely much of any point to going to them in person these days. (Spending significant time in another country and observing and interacting with the locals---away from "tourist sites", especially those most overrun with tourists---can still be beneficial. Though with the internet and easy access to information you can get much of the same understanding without having to actually travel.)


This is just a crazy take! Visiting Japan and experiencing it are much different than reading a wikipedia article about tokyo.

Reading about an ocean and swimming in one is a very different thing.

To borrow the cute new catchphrase of the day 'go outisde and touch grass'.
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#6 User is offline   Azath Vitr (D'ivers 

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Posted 26 April 2024 - 04:01 PM

View PostCause, on 26 April 2024 - 02:55 PM, said:

View PostAzath Vitr (D, on 26 April 2024 - 11:41 AM, said:

So it should probably be much higher for most tourist sites. There's rarely much of any point to going to them in person these days. (Spending significant time in another country and observing and interacting with the locals---away from "tourist sites", especially those most overrun with tourists---can still be beneficial. Though with the internet and easy access to information you can get much of the same understanding without having to actually travel.)


This is just a crazy take! Visiting Japan and experiencing it are much different than reading a wikipedia article about tokyo.

Reading about an ocean and swimming in one is a very different thing.

To borrow the cute new catchphrase of the day 'go outisde and touch grass'.



They're different experiences; but what do you actually learn that you couldn't learn from the internet (not just reading, but watching videos, VR, etc.)? If you stay in Japan for a more substantial period of time and do non-touristy things, that can be rewarding. (Several of my non-Japanese friends, for example, learned Japanese and spent months to years living in Japan. We've discussed it extensively.) Some of my experiences from a week in various East and Southeast Asian countries were rewarding---when I managed to get away from my insipid tour group full of willfully ignorant people who just wanted to get photos of themselves for clout and learn nothing. Or when I spent a week to a summer in various other countries; the tourist areas are generally shit sausage grinders for the brains of most people passing through them, with some exceptions for people who actually take museums seriously (but again you'd be better off using the internet or a good library and looking at images or videos or VR or replicas, unless you have a legitimate research need to interact with the physical object---for example to do some sort of chemical analysis).

But if you're doing what most tourists do, it's a waste of time and you would learn more of value from the internet (as for experiencing things like swimming in a body of water---well you can do that away from tourist sites---and the same goes for the learning value of other experiences, once you subtract the irrational "magical contagion" aura of attaching significance or "status" to a particular place).

This post has been edited by Azath Vitr (D'ivers: 26 April 2024 - 04:03 PM

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#7 User is offline   Tiste Simeon 

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Posted 26 April 2024 - 06:12 PM

Yeah Azath wants to spend the rest of his life in front of a screen, ignoring natural beauty, human creativity or anything that isn't AI spoon fed brain rot so I wouldn't take his thoughts on this too seriously.
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#8 User is offline   Azath Vitr (D'ivers 

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Posted 26 April 2024 - 07:03 PM

View PostTiste Simeon, on 26 April 2024 - 06:12 PM, said:

Yeah Azath wants to spend the rest of his life in front of a screen, ignoring natural beauty, human creativity or anything that isn't AI spoon fed brain rot so I wouldn't take his thoughts on this too seriously.



Of course you need more than just an audiovisual VR experience to recreate the full benefits of being in nature (breathing in negative air ions, for example); but the audiovisual aspects can certainly be reproduced, and that reproduction will get better and more seamless in the future. (And the other aspects will also almost certainly be reproduced at some point in the future---to the point where people won't even be able to tell whether they're in actual or virtual nature. I don't think something like neuralink (or brain stimulation more generally) will be required for that.)

And I'm very much in favor of human creativity, no matter how artful or creative AI may become. Why do you think I've shared so many free virtual instruments and music production tools? Make music. Be creative. It's good for you. AI will give humans more time to be creative, and more options for supplementing human creativity and realizing creative ideas. And if AI eventually greatly exceeds human creativity and intelligence in all their dimensions, then the best way for humans to be creative and intelligent may be to integrate themselves with AI (with some additional bioengineered enhancements to DNA, etc.).

But all that's beside the point---most people don't need to travel far to experience natural beauty. They certainly don't need to flock to overcrowded tourist traps.

As for "touching grass" as connecting with embodied sensory experience---mindful awareness can be beneficial in many ways (personally, I've been on several mindfulness retreats, read many books about it, taken many courses on it, and I've been practicing it on a daily basis for many years; and the phenomenology, anthropology, psychology, and neuroscience of embodied experience and sensation was one of my primary interests for many years). But you don't need to travel for it. The belief that you need to constantly go elsewhere for satisfaction---find it anywhere but where you are---is contrary to Buddhism and its secular analogues in psychological research.

The grass isn't any touchier on the other side of the fence glory hole.

"Wherever you go, there you are."

(And grasping at grass won't help you hold on when the world turns upside down and the grass gets swallowed up by the wildfires and the floods (and worse...). Instead, society should focus on what might actually save us and liberate---and enlighten---sentience on Earth.)
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#9 User is offline   Abyss 

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Posted 26 April 2024 - 08:37 PM

View PostAzath Vitr (D, on 26 April 2024 - 07:03 PM, said:

... AI will give humans more time to be creative, and more options for supplementing human creativity and realizing creative ideas. And if AI eventually greatly exceeds human creativity and intelligence in all their dimensions, then the best way for humans to be creative and intelligent may be to integrate themselves with AI (with some additional bioengineered enhancements to DNA, etc.)......society should focus on what might actually save us and liberate---and enlighten---sentience on Earth.)


Yeah, that's exactly what i would expect Skynet to order you to say.
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#10 User is offline   Gorefest 

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Posted 27 April 2024 - 08:18 AM

I always imagine Azath Vitr as the lovechild of ChatGPT and Meta.
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