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05 November 2008

Tourism is Absurd

"Ours has been the first, and doubtless to be the last, to visit this profitless locality."
- Lt. Joseph Ives, after visiting the Grand Canyon in 1861

Didn't they say the same thing about Las Vegas?

Grand Canyon National Park is a national and international treasure spanning over 1.2 million acres. First designated as a National Park in 1919, it attracts almost five (5) million visitors each year and the annual impact of their tourism is approximately $687 million dollars per year to the local economy. For a resource that mother nature gave us for free, I suspect there is a profit somewhere in that $687 million dollars dontchathink?

Uh, Lt. Ives, you seem to be a little off in your projection. Besides, what else are you gonna do with the Grand Canyon besides gawk and sell t-shirts?

Well, actually, there's this too:

In 2007 the Hualapai Indian tribe constructed a horseshoe shaped glass walkway extending out over the Grand Canyon.

Certainly not for the weak of heart. For nearly $70 bucks per person, $20 bucks per car and a 2 hour drive from Vegas you too can peer nearly 5000 below your feet too.

Would you do this?

Of course if you did, you wouldn't have a picture to prove it (unless you bought one from their photog's) since no personal items are allowed on the walkway, cameras included. I guess they don't want anything to drop on the glass floor and shatter it. Yikes.

Nearly 1 Billion people per year hit the roads, seas, airways and yes, glass walkways, each year in pursuit of little shot glasses that commemorate the biggest ball of twine, etc. And in doing so spend $3 Billion dollars per Day, or over $1 Trillion dollars per year. Wow. Makes you want to open up a lemonade stand outside of Six Flags huh?

Speaking of sustenance, did you know that in Thailand that they call Thai Food just "food"?

But I digress....

So, why do you vacation? To get away from something (work, house, life, etc.) or to go to something (Disney, exotic locale, etc.)?


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Anonymous said...

Did you know that I can get a thank you note translated into Thai? Or at least find someone who can. Which is a great thing because that means people will take you out to eat Thai food as thanks!! So interesting....

Did you get my email?


Michael M. said...

Great catching up with you Laura. Have fun in your travels.

And yes, that was quite a caper you speak of.... :)