Sunday, February 23, 2020


The Behavior of a Tourist

C. Marchetti, "Anthropological Invariants in Travel Behavior," Technological Forecasting and Social Change 47.1 (September 1994) 75–88 (at 84-85):
Trips of longer periods are the ones made by tourists (historically preceded by pilgrims) about once a year. Coming from a tourist attractor (Florence), I have always been curious about the driving forces behind tourist wanderings, and being familiar with the species I am very skeptical about their rationalizations. My hypothesis is that there is again a basic drive behind this. If I can describe the behavior of a tourist, perhaps a little sarcastically: he chases a target as far away as possible, hopefully unexplored (unpolluted means he is the first to go there). Once the place is reached, he collects material for tales and physical souvenirs. Then he comes back and fills the heads of colleagues, friends, and parents with the tales of the magnificent land he has just discovered. The behavior is very much reminiscent of the dancing bee telling where the blossoming tree is located and the mass and kind of flower (she carries the souvenirs, pollen and the perfume, on herself). Souvenirs then become a tangible testimony that the tales are veridical (man is a born liar). When Moses sent scouts to Palestine, they traveled back loaded with specimens, in particular, a bunch of grapes so large that two men with a pole were needed to carry it. Seen from this systemic point of view, we can perhaps study the tourist phenomenon through a fresh and objective approach.
I suspect that by "parents" Marchetti meant "relatives" or "family" (cf. Italian "parenti").

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