Tourism is one of the largest industries in the world, and perhaps the leading economic engine in your community – an industry with tremendous potential to change the social, economic, and natural landscapes of every place it touches. – Dan Shilling
But not every tourist attraction is authentic or worthy of our time, money, attention. Tourism can be a superficial experience or tourism can be so much more genuine than commercial merchandizing.
“Travel at its best can be a kind of vision quest, in which we journey away from the familiar world to encounter some alien setting, some natural or cultural or spiritual presence that enlarges our understanding, and then we journey home to act out that larger vision in our households, neighborhoods, towns, and cities.”
“The kind of tourism that interests me, the only kind I am willing to advocate, would challenge and inspire travelers by providing them with experience of real place, a distinctive place, a place with its own history, culture, and texture – an immersion of the traveler in the geography of somewhere.”
“What qualities give certain places a feeling of character and charisma makes them worthy of a visitor’s deep engagement and a citizen’s love?”
“A real place conveys a sense of temporal depth, a sense that people have been living and laboring here for a long time. The traces of earlier generations are preserved in festivals and folkways and habits of speech; in the old buildings that have been restored and kept in service; in landscapes that are still devoted to orchards, dairies, woodlots, and traditional uses.”
“A real place keeps us mindful of nature, as it keeps us mindful of history.”
“We encounter real places not by gazing through windshields or by gaping at screens but by walking. Alluring places invite us to immerse ourselves, to open all our senses. --- On foot we experience the world in three dimensions; we move at a speed that allows us to absorb and savor and reflect.”
“What we all long for, I suspect, is to love the places we live and to live in places worthy of love. … we hunger for integrity and authenticity.” – Scott Russell Sanders in "The Geography of Somewhere"