Urban inspirations from the vacation seasonمصنف فى :مقالات
By the end of the summer season and the return of tourists to their homes, it makes one question the criterias that attract tourists from the GCC countries to certain destinations and the huge admiration that they express for certain touristic capitals.
Certainly, the joy that tourist find could be due to the enjoyment and break from their jobs and the daily routines; nevertheless, I believe that it goes well beyond that.
Touristic capitals possess special factors that allow them to reach that status. Some factors are natural due to their geographic location, which bless them with moderate weather which attracts those who seek a specific environment such as cooler temperatures or sunny beaches.
Also, the central location allows these cities to be easily accessible from around the world for crowds of travellers.
Moreover, history is crucial in determining the status of cities. Historical cities that are sites for major monuments and images that are planted in the memory of the public strengthen their touristic attractivity. Cairo, Rome, Athens, London, Paris, and other cities; are the capitals of the world. They are the locations of important events that took place and change the course of history. These sites have a unique spark which distinguishes them from other locations.
There is a cultural dimension which enhances the position of world tourist destinations. When world renowned artists paint certain sites they stick in the collective memory.
When poets and writers write about specific places, they prosper in the minds of readers, like the cathedral of Notre-Dame in Paris which is mentioned in the Hunchback of Notre-dame novel by Vector Hugo.
Similarly, when a city becomes the site of an important film, it also shines in the imagination of viewers like in the film The Sound of Music which was filmed in Salzburg and the surrounding area.
Yet, I would like to shed a light on other urban factors that contribute strongly to the enhancement of cities position as touristic destinations such as:
- – Safety and security which ensures the visitor of the authority of law and provides them with tranquillity.
- – Openness and a welcoming atmosphere that welcomes visitors and treats them well.
- – Social diversity that these capitals possess and their tolerance to various types of people, races, and of all orientations.
- – Among the visual factors are the order and hygiene that one experiences in public space. This order reflects the advanced nature of the city and enhance the sense of beauty in the surroundings.
- – The presence of historical and modern monuments, which carry deep meanings, enhance the status of these capitals and its touristic attractivity.
Alternatively, there are cities with many modern buildings that lack any meaning and only seek to express economic growth and the culture of conspicuous consumption. These large buildings add little to their cities.
– Cities that respect pedestrians provide safe, connected, and continuous pathways. Successful cities make those pedestrian corridors interesting and connected to various activities. Undoubtedly, one of the secrets of this fascination with London, Paris, Beirut, Istanbul and other world cities is this open public space that is unavailable in our home cities. Where the tourist finds this realm he, his family, and his children could wander freely without the need to depend on the private vehicle,which is considered the main enemy to livelihood in cities.
- – Restaurants and Cafes which overlook pleasant views and are open toward satisfying main walkways and plazas, allows the seated person to enjoy gazing at the daily life of citizens and get a feel of a different lifestyle, enrich the city, and enhance its touristic position.
These are brief points that encourage us to think about the factors that contribute to the success of cities. It would be nice to have a chance to implement some on our home towns and cities.