All County, All the Time Since 2010 MAKE THIS YOUR PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY HOME...PAGE!  Wednesday, June 19th, 2024

A whole new (tourist) world

Steve Campbell

Okay, there has been much discussion over this new wave of tourists who have ‘discovered’ the County. I feel your pain.

As you know, if you own a County Handbook, I diagnose tourist behaviour in Waves. The first wave truly discovered the County, and they moved here, and they became us, because they came here to be us. The second wave came here with ‘expectations’, having been told by the first wave what a paradise this was. This group had lots of complaints about lack of public washrooms, spotty internet, GPS which loses its brainpower south of the Murray Canal bridge, restaurants that close at 7 p.m., and bars that close at 1. They were disappointed in the hype, because they expected city perks in a blissful country setting.

Successive waves settled down, and a lot of them went back to truly discovering the County, and many of them decided to move here. With them came artists and businesspeople, followed by the birth of wineries, breweries and top-notch chefs.
So far, so good. But the weight of tourist traffic then became hard to handle and, to some, almost unbearable. I recently wrote two columns on how tourism does pay in the County. Despite the huge backlash on to that belief, there is no denying that tourist money saturates and sustains our County community. I stand by that.

But this year? Yikes! Part of the problem was the unprecedented rainfall in the Spring. “Where is everybody?” was the question of the day. Then, in mid-July, everyone came at once. We were totally unprepared for this tsunami wave of tourists flooding into the County from every direction.
Accommodations were bursting at the seams. Restaurants were desperately seeking extra staff, to no avail. We just simply could not handle this.

Campers and RVs were finding sideroads to park in. At Point Petre, I saw a mini-village of RVs, tents and just plain cars parked randomly near the weather station, with nowhere else to go. Sandbanks Park, as we know, was closing daily at noon – simply full to capacity. This inspired vacationers to power through the gates at high speed between 9 and 11, and then power out again at 4 p.m.

So, we know the situation – sort of. Because there’s another element to this I would like to explore.
As you know, I talk to a lot of business owners and residents, who seem to enjoy dumping their concerns and anxiety on me. But this time I get it.
Some of this new wave of tourists are – how shall I put this? – really awful people. They are rude, entitled, self-centred, demanding, angry, littering jerks. They are horrible creatures, oblivious to the land, the water and the people, whose land they have invaded.
They treat us like we’re Disney World: Want everything, want it now, want it fast, dump our trash on the ground and let that 24-hour clean-up crew (known here as locals) take care of that, while we mindlessly pursue our right to vacation enjoyment.

Too harsh? I suspect everyone reading this can add a multitude of adjectives to this list, and go to their pocket Thesaurus to find more words to throw.
These are not the tourists we’ve seen before. Let’s get to points.
I have personally seen four incidents of road rage this summer. On County Road 11, twice I’ve seen a car trying to drive another car off the road, at high speed, with car horn blaring (which caught my attention) for some perceived slight. At the Liquor Store lights, a man actually got out of his car and started screaming obscenities at two seniors in the straight-through lane. A guy in a pickup got out and walked back to help, saw the state of the enraged tourist, and got back in his truck.
Let’s get this straight. We do not do road rage here. I know some locals do it too, but no, it’s not acceptable here. We let cars in on Main Street in Picton. Like most of us, I have a two-car rule: I can only let two cars onto Main, or I will be the next in the road rage challenge from some “Hurry up and Relax” tourist behind me.

I’ve heard from many businesspeople that this new wave has passed beyond annoying, and has become intolerable. I could fill 20 pages just with the stories I’ve heard.
Instead, let’s see how this happened. Some may jump to blame our County Community Development department, responsible for marketing the County. But this is not the source of the problem, as most of the County-produced literature is designed to steer people around the County, to find and explore restaurants, wineries and towns and villages. Tourists don’t often get those publications until they are already here.
The problem, I think, is this:
The Metro papers have been stumbling over themselves to cover the County. But they all follow each other, and go to the same places every time they visit! The problem is not our promotion, it’s theirs!
This Wave does not ‘discover’ the County – they use their metro travel sections as their Travel Itinerary: “Okay, we did the Drake, did the Sandbanks, now off to Norm Hardie’s!” And they don’t look to the left or right, they just power out at 140 kph. This is not ‘discovery’ mode, this is ‘destination’ mode.
Let’s get this straight. Not to disrespect the Drake, but you do not discover the Drake. Sure, you can find it, if you have a cell phone with Google maps and a copy of the Toronto Star. But that’s not a discovery. That’s a destination.
And if I hear one more person say the County did not exist before the Drake got here, I’m going to go homicidal. This is what Vogue magazine said and, as one of my customers put it: “That’s what we need – model-gorgeous women walking through the sand dunes in their stilletto heels!”

We can’t control the metro papers, but for God’s sake, if anyone is listening, can you not keep going to the same seven places? There’s so much more here. Send us your poor, your wretched, your work-weary for a proper vacation, and leave behind your snotty, angry and entitled.
Because they don’t respect our land, or our water, or our people. Please, next vacation, choose a place that loves rude visitors. If you can find one.
Next: A whole set of new problems cropped up this year.

Filed Under: News from Everywhere ElseSteve Campbell

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  1. Chuck says:

    If the tourists ate bananas regularly and their urine was high in potassium this would be very beneficial for the roses.

  2. Mark says:

    Was this reported. Was it women peeing on lawns or watering roses?

  3. Marnie says:

    These visitors apparently come from communities where cross-walks do not exist. Several times this summer I have watched them drive through Picton’s cross-walks after pedestrians had activated the light. Our tourists are famous for U-turns as well. Not only are they peeing on the roses they are doing the same thing to our traffic laws.

  4. Janet says:

    Two things. Today while driving in town I was startled to be waved through my turns. I had forgotten that this is how we usually roll. instead of avoiding Main Street and creeping in during the wee hours to do my groceries, I boldly drove up and down the main drag, dared to make left turns, and was cheerfully let off and on Main Street by oncoming traffic.It really cheered me up after a crowded and tense summer of driving.

    Secondly, over the summer I have heard numerous people complaining about people peeing on their lawn – not just someone doing an emergency wringing out the kids, but adults relieving themselves, and in one instance, needing a pooper scooper. People stopped to take a piss so frequently that one store owner had to actually make a sign that said “Please don’t pee on my roses”. Yes, many times daily people were peeing on the side of her house and in her garden, and sometimes without even going in to her business. One of the peeing complaints I heard about also included a side note about airbnb guests using playground equipment in that person’s yard and getting belligerent when politely asked to leave private property.

    So is pissing on people’s lawn a thing now, like passing on the right on the sidewalk? Just trying to keep up.

  5. Hedy says:

    Seems like folks have started to notice the “other” side of tourism. The flood gates have been opened, long ago, and now the waves are flooding in with no controls. Does Council have any ideas on how to ‘save’ the County? I expect each year will bring more of the good, the bad, and the ugly. All that promoting the County with no clear plan of how to handle the effects of the waves.
    Has anyone looked at the horrors of what tourism has done to some of the most awesome & charming places like Florence, Venice, Pyramids, and countless others? The places that stay serene and charming are those that are not promoted en masse, and discovered.
    And I don’t get any benefits from tourism, but my property taxes are going up because there seems to be not one street in town without a renovated house turned into a AirBnB. These are mostly city people who ‘discovered’ the County through tourism marketing. Who is reaping the benefits? Who is happy about all this?
    Was this predictable? Was this part of all the years of Strategy and Planning for the Vision for the future of the County? I wonder.

  6. Janet says:

    John Samuel, thanks for posting the link to the BBC programme. Over the past while I have been reading a number of articles illustrating the pressures experienced by various communities throughout the world that are popular tourist destinations. The issues raised by citizens of places like Venice and Barcelona seem very similar to concerns expressed in the County. The challenges presented to our community by our current popularity are not unique, and we should pay close attention to how other “destination” communities are handling their respective situations.

  7. John Samuel says:

    Globally, tourism has passed saturation.

    From BBC Radio 4’s programme “Costing the Earth” is this 27 minute episode “Global Tide”.

    Global tourism is expected to double by 2030. Double. In just over a decade.

    We have met the enemy and he is us.

  8. Susan says:

    That’s unfortunate Chris. As to the County needing cash, perhaps, they just signed a healthy 4 year contract with all unionized workers. That money doesn’t appear out of thin air.

  9. Chris Keen says:

    The Destination Marketing Fee can ONLY be used for marketing activities to attract tourists – not roads, sewers, or water treatment. See:

  10. Dennis Fox says:

    Part of the problem with this kind of a discussion is the format we are using – unless everyone reads everything, then too often the meaning of what one person is saying gets lost. So I will hopefully be brief and to the point…

    At no time did I say I was opposed to tourism, or those businesses that cater to them – but I am opposed to taxpayers paying to promote it and being inconvenienced by them and not receiving any benefit – which is clearly the case now. Shire Hall has no method in place to collect tourist dollars – under law they have the ability to levy a tourist tax – many other areas have done it- why not here? Also, PEC has been designated a “tourist area” – so why shouldn’t local workers and taxpayers benefit from this?

    Lastly, as we have come to learn, this municipality is hard up for cash – to the point where they are considering selling historical buildings. Can we afford not to find ways to financially benefit from the tourist trade? The negative reaction I have received just by asking the question – How does our community as a whole benefit from tourism? – makes no sense – that is unless you are someone making big money from the tourist trade and not wanting to pony-up and to only pocket your money. These excuses by some that it would inconvenience and burden businesses with the responsibility of collecting a tourist tax is a load of nonsense – if business can accept tax write-offs and allow taxpayers to assist in promoting tourism on their behalf, then taking a bit of time to make it profitable for the municipality is the trade-off. It is called the price of doing business and making money.

    Anyway, to all who have written in response, even I need a rest from this topic – so until next time.

  11. Luther says:

    1. Rude people abounded. Whether in grocery stores, gas stations or on the street. U-Turns were the name of the game this year. Seen it happen multiple times on Wellington, Picton and Bloomfield Main Streets and on secondary roads. It takes less than a minute to find a laneway or driveway to turn around if you missed your turn off.(most of us don’t care if you turn around in our driveway, just don’t park in them!) I’ve had people park their vehicles BLOCKING my driveway and then get upset when I tell them to move.

    2. Accommodation Tax is in lots of places in Ontario. Don’t believe me? Spend a night at a hotel in TO and then check your bill. This money goes back to the city and to the destination marketing department. The Ontario Gov’t gets a piece of the pie too. The County is missing out on this and should be putting it in place. Please note I said ACCOMMODATION. So AirBnB’s, Motels, Hotels etc

    AirBnB’s……..Personally my belief is that if you purchase a residence in PEC for an AirBnB, and you are NOT taking up residence, the property should be changed from residential to commercial. You are making money off that property therefore you are a business. You should also be subject to yearly inspections, be responsible for purchasing any and all permits required for PEC and your insurance company MUST be notified that you are using the property as a business. Why should you be able to rent out rooms and whole houses and not have the same rules as a hotel or motel? Who does anyone contact when there is a problem and the owner lives in the big smoke? I’ve seen changes being made to homes, additions, renovations, steel shipping containers etc and have not seen any postings of permits. Who knows what has been done?

    Just my “take” on things going on in PEC.

    Things have more than BOOMED in the last 5 years to put it mildly.

  12. Chris Keen says:

    Dennis – Shire hall can only tax properties … not tourists. Wynne, as she adds billions a month to our $300 B debt, refused to entertain an increase in the HST to fund municipal infrastructure programmes yet offers no possible alternative to municiplaities who are in the mess we are in. After all we’re part of rural Ontario – an insignificant number of voters – why should she care? The property tax base of small municipalities will never be enough to to provide needed services without provincial help. You can’t blame this on tourists.

    And what is the point of asking Shire Hall if we want all the attention tourists bring? They’ve been coming here for more than 100 years and will continue to do so until they can’t find a parking space, a bed to sleep in, or somewhere to eat. Then they won’t.

  13. Pat says:

    Dennis keeps repeating What do we get from tourists? At the risk of getting my windows broken I could ask What do I get from the cement plant? Or to be even more provocative and offend good people, What do County farmers do for me? I don’t eat meat, soya or corn. I don’t drive much so I’m not a big Ethanol user. People tell me my tax dollars subsidize them. But they’re making a living and the pesticides, nitrogen runoff and noisy machinery don’t bother me too much. Would he be appeased if tourists (and farmers and the cement plant) paid a portion of their wealth to We The Residents who don’t get any other benefit from them?

  14. Dennis Fox says:

    Gary Mooney seems to be carrying The County flag on this issue – what he knows and chooses to ignore is that the info he continues to promote DOES NOT not come anywhere close to answering the basic question – How do we as a community as a s whole benefit from tourism.

    The fact is that through my contact with Shore Hall, I have been told that they have no method to collect tourist dollars – meaning very few if any are there to help the local taxpayer. Another question that should be asked is Why? As a new question – Has anyone at Shire Hall asked the people if they want all of this attention from tourists?

    I do apologize to those who must be bored with this topic – but if anything, without me asking this question what would Steve Campbell and Gary Mooney have to write about?

  15. Gary Mooney says:

    Benefits from tourism provide direct benefits to local businesses and their employees (jobs).

    Benefits from tourism to residents are mostly indirect / secondary:
    1. Contributions to a healthier local economy — retention and growth of businesses, local jobs.
    2. Access to services that appeal to tourrists, such as wineries, craft breweries, restaurants, arts and crafts, music, festivals, summer theatre.
    3. Attraction of new residents who want these services where they live.

    If you’re a resident who isn’t interested in, or can’t afford, services mentioned in #2, you may not see much, or any, benefit from tourism.

    As far as municipal finances are concerned, my research indicates that the amount spent on tourism promotion, visitor services, business attraction and resident attraction is covered several times over by the taxes paid by local businesses, with the excess being a contribution to services provided to residents.

    Beyond the amounts referenced in the previous paragraph, I don’t think that there are many other costs of tourism to the municipality. People mention tourist traffic wearing out roads, but almost all of the damage to roads is caused by heavy trucks, not passenger vehicles. Some mention visits to the Picton ER, but these costs are funded by the province.

    Tourists are not a direct source of revenue to the County; rather, they are a direct source of revenue to local businesses, which pay taxes to the County.

    Some visitors to the County end up moving here. If they build a $1 million house, they pay three times the taxes of the average residence.

    More tourists = more businesses and more residents = more taxes to fund services to County residents.

  16. Susan says:

    Good info but you avoided how the County is better off from 20 years ago. All many see is too many people, no affordable housing, restaurant prices out of reach, more debt, deteriorating roads, a major water crisis etc. To oh so many tourism seems like a plague as it has not resulted in better affordable living conditions for the average resident. Many feel we have sold our soul. The underlying question is for what? For happy tourists?

  17. Gary Mooney says:

    Re what the County spends on tourism promotion. Back in June, I got a lot of info on this topic from Neil Carbone, Director of Community Development, doing the research that Dennis Fox could have done himself. Lots of info, but difficult to summarize.

    Neil’s department handles both tourism attraction / visitor services and business / resident attraction. There’s an interrelationship, because some visitors end up moving here and others move or start up businesses here. The budget split between the two is about 50/50.

    There is also a modest budget for the Community Development Commision, which is comprised of Councilors and volunteers.

    The Community Developent Department (CDD) manages promotion of Taste and Arts Trail. Countylicious, etc but local businesses pay a substantial percentage of the costs – at least 50%.

    The most significant element of tourism promotion is the contribution from earned media — almost free promotion in various publications (e.g. Travel and Leisure). The value of earned media is more than the County’s total tourism budget.

    Also, the property taxes paid by the hundreds of County businesses is a multiple of the County’s total tourism budget. So it’s reasonable to say that County residents pay nothing towards tourism promotion.

  18. hockeynan says:

    I agree with you Dave.You hit the nail right on the head

  19. Dave McDonald says:

    Every time Dennis enters a discussion, he turns it around to what he wants to talk about.
    Steve’s column was specifically about the attitudes and behaviour of what he calls the New Wave of tourists. Not taxes, not Shire Hall. And, of course, the twist on the topic inflamed an anti-tourist sentiment well beyond the points being made, which serves no-one.

    Choosing the opportunity to drag your old horse out to beat again and again does not address any of the points made in the column.

    By the way, you can stop referring to your amazingly brilliant letter each time. I’ve heard this talk for 30 years. You didn’t invent it.

  20. Susan says:

    You would have to ask the Administration at Shire Hall for that information.

  21. Chris Keen says:

    What percentage/dollar as mount of our property taxes are we paying to support tourism? Generalizations tend not to be too useful.

  22. Chris Keen says:

    As far and I can determine the only tax municipalities in Ontario can levy is a property tax. A B&B / tourist tax would not be allowed. Municipalities can levy fees like the Destination Marketing Fee Niagara Falls tried to lmplement with huge push back resulting in several appearances on CBC’s Marketplace.

  23. ADJ says:

    I’d be interested to hear from Dennis how to implement this “tourist or B+B tax” Would you lump it onto the business owner adding another layer of paperwork? In business one should look to trimming wasted dollars instead of increasing costs to the consumer and another pain in the azz to the business operator. Are you asking every store, food outlet, roadside vendor to pony up to help cover debts and further costs that were frittered away by past County councils? I’m sure you could list a whole whack of bad debt accumulated by past and present council decisions. Let’ vote in a new Council with tighter purse strings.
    And to Jason..Mr. Trump needs you.

  24. Jason says:

    Tourists and city people moving here are No Longer wanted by Locals and life long residents.We want industry,jobs and affordable housing.Big city rich people have made it impossible for us born here to live here. They move here and build million dollar condos and homes that no one already here will be able to afford ever. We need to band together boycott new businesses n let the people know they are not wanted..I suggest billboards on Hwys 49,62,33 stating that tourism is no longer welcome

  25. Dennis Fox says:

    Back in June I wrote a “Letter to the Editor” to the Gazette asking how does this community as a whole benefit from tourism? After having everything including the bathroom sink thrown at me for asking this question, I am now of the opinion that the larger community of PEC does not benefit. Yes, many businesses do and the hourly paid seasonal workers do – which represents only a small portion of this community. So why are all of us paying taxes to support tourism? Our community could be making far more if council started looking at tourism as a money-maker – helping our municipal tax base. I hope that more people in the community start asking their councillors to get thinking about such things as a tourist tax or hotel/B&B tax – our community needs a helping hand. Instead, we have a council that is thinking about selling the Town Hall to help pay for basic infrastructure! We have a possible solution to our lack of cash flow -why don’t we use it?

  26. Gary says:

    Tourists have really helped our water crisis. Highest rates in the Province. High debt and few solutions. The County should also be app lying for the affordable housing grants that Hastings County is receiving rather than putting forth government control on vacation rentals. That is no solution to the housing issue. Go talk to Hastings and see how they are getting it done.

  27. Paul Cole says:

    Well N.Stafford that’s why The County has a huge debt and can’t afford to upgrade infrastructure or repair roads. Very few make money from the tourists and some County Folks would rather tourists didn’t come at all..just saying

  28. N. Stafford says:

    Don’t believe it. Lots of money is spent by the tourists. It’s what you wanted. Ask the wineries if they have any problem, I doubt it. You have to make it known that there is limited space for tourists on the county and reservations are required so that there is not in influx at the busiest times and no space to be found. You all know its tourism that drives your economy and without it you would be just another dead community. Perhaps now that you have what you wanted and have the financial gain ya all jus gittin a little uppity

  29. Emily says:

    Too many people in too small a space. A bypass should have been built for those that are travelling through Picton and not stopping.

  30. olmnonthmtn says:

    Perhaps a discussion and statement “on the nature of our community, its values and any particular sensitivities that should be respected” is equally as important for us natives it could be an etiquette guide for how we need to behave amongst ourselves and our visitors

  31. Paul Cole says:

    My guess is tourists are becoming frustrated to after all they’ve come to escape the rat race only to find bumper to bumper traffic and no parking. They have a limited time to experience The County and it must be frustrating to have those plans dashed by congested roads long lines and no parking. But who hasn’t seen this coming ? seriously….

  32. ADJ says:

    a similar situation for me on the wkend..pulling up to the crosswalk beside Timmys that enters onto Main I needed to make a left turn and waiting for the green light respectfully remained back of the marked line that would allow vehicles turning into the same street. A huge delivery truck pulled up beside me, in the right turn lane and the driver,probably thinking I was a tourist bellowed out “ya know your 50′ from the crosswalk, pullup further” I couldn’t hear the other expletives he added, just as well. I ignored him thinking this is how roadrage happens.

  33. Wolf Braun says:

    Audi,BMW,Porsche drivers are dangerous on our roads. 100 in a 50 zone is reckless driving.

    Rudeness is when you have a green light to make a left turn in Wellington and the pedestrian signal tells the tourist NOT to cross and then turns to look at you in your car that now has to stop for 2 people walking across ignoring their signal and then gives you “the fingers.

  34. gilles says:

    Daily, I am misquoting a famous line from “A Few Good Men”, which starred Jack Nicholson and Tom cruise:
    “I want the tourists!”
    “You can’t handle the tourists!!”

    You thought it was busy THIS year. Just wait until NEXT year.
    I work in the tourist industry twelve months of the year. It’s not a two month season any more, and it’s getting busier every winter. And, yes–I drive one of those limousines which locals assume are transporting elitist wine snobs who aren’t interested in The County.
    All my guests are here to experience OUR lifestyle, and some have even moved here because of it. And you think it’s road rage being caused by the tourists? Most of what I deal with every day is by locals who have lost patience, and who lack courtesy on the road, in the parking lot, in the grocery store. Certainly it’s aggravated by all the tourists who love doing u-turns on our Main Streets, in the middle of bumper-to-bumper traffic, or by pulling onto our driveways because they missed their turn. Certainly it’s stoked by the self-entitled visitors picnicking on our private front lawns (I saw it just today, near West Lake!!), or clambering up to our front doors to pose for selfies, acting as if The County were a public park.You do need to write another book, Steve. (I know you’ve got lots of free time.) As suggested earlier; a handbook for tourists. Include it with their passport and visa when they apply to visit The County.

  35. Ian says:

    I find Rosalind Adams’ speech to be much more on point about what has happened to the County.

    I’m surprised that local papers haven’t republished it, but perhaps that’s just because people here are busy, rather than any suppression of her sentiments.

  36. Andrew McLuhan says:

    Right on, Steve. It’s way past time for a new County Handbook – perhaps a County Tourist Handbook?

    But seriously, that destination vs discovery insight was on point.


  37. Jane Rutter says:

    Yay Steve!!!!!

  38. Brent Kleinsteuber says:

    I continually encounter tourist’s sense of entitlement and privilege, everytime I travel through Picton, Bloomfield and Wellington. The two biggest issues I’ve encountered are jaywalking and u-turns.

    The County practically created jaywalking it’s part of our heritage since most villages only have one crosswalk in them (Picton the exception). There seemed to be an unwritten commonsense rule at one time, cross when there is no traffic or wait to be waved across. Now people stride straight to the next destination head held high and focusing on the target with no concern for the vehicles approaching and jamming their brakes.

    The u-turn issue boils down to entitlement. Forcing traffic in both lanes to stop while you make a curb to curb 180 because you either missed your destination or no longer care to travel in the direction you originally took. 33 highway is packed during the summer months, why do you think this is a good place to perform a u-turn? Turning off onto a sideroad or parking lot would be the more sensible and polite way of going about it.

    I know there are exceptions to the rule. We have some great tourists that come through every summer. We also have some locals I am sure that do the above mentioned petpeeves. Commonsense and a little curtiousness would go far.

  39. olmnonthmtn says:

    It seems that the County is just one example lately of the collateral damage from the inane behaviour of some tourists. The cities of Venice and Florence have had to adopt more intrusive measures to curtail irresponsible behavior, China has developed guidelines to address travel etiquette and the UN’s World Tourism Organization (WTO) has had to this year draft a guide to address how tourists should behave when traveling. It seems we can’t take it for granted that travelers know how to act responsibly. The adage “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” is the wrong attitude tourists should bring to their destinations these are not opportunities to escape from responsible behavior. In fact a traveller should realize that they are ambassadors representing their home communities. Self centered, rude and entitled behavior are not appropriate regardless of where you’re coming from and where you are going to.

    Perhaps we in the County need to put our heads together and as the WTO recommended provide information before and during tourist visits, on the nature of our community, its values and any particular sensitivities that should be respected. Posters/brochures in businesses, government buildings and roadways, newspaper ads and radio broadcasts may be ways to disseminate our expectations. This information should help us (businesses, government and citizens) in presenting a united front in the face intolerable behaviour.

  40. Dennis Fox says:

    I can appreciate the concerns expressed in this article and those from people who have been negatively impacted by tourism – HOWEVER, this same author , Steve Campbell wrote an article supporting tourism, just a month or so ago, claiming that we all benefited from the tourist trade. He wrote in reaction to my Letter to the Editor – which asked a basic question – “How does our community as a whole benefit from tourism?” To date, despite the rhetoric, no one has been able to successfully answer that question. Happy to see that Steve, is now beginning to see the truth of the matter.

  41. Chuck says:

    Easy to hit the tourists. We have a lot of residents in our little Prince Edward County that feel they are very important. Particularly the ones that have gained riches from the tourist trade. Some of our own need a wake call as well.

  42. Emma says:

    Well said, Steve.
    This year (and last?) has seen a VERY different tourism season. You can see it and feel it everywhere you go during summer months. People need to r.e.l.a.x., especially the ones on holiday! Sheesh. Nothing’s discovered by travelling with a checklist, hit it and move on. Slow the heck down!
    Some interesting points about “Making Tourism Sustainable”, above. Certainly worth a try!

  43. olmnonthmtn says:

    Some thoughts on tourist behaviour:
    Many of the more specific and serious problems faced by communities as a result of tourism are due to behaviour of individual tourists or particular groups. This can be influenced through:
    -Information, provided before and during the visit, on the nature of the host community, their values and any particular sensitivities that should be respected.
    -Regulating certain aspects of visitor behaviour, such as noise and littering.
    -Mounting or supporting campaigns, backed by legislation as appropriate, to combat sex tourism and the exploitation of children.
    -Maintaining an appropriate level of policing.
    -Physical control measures to facilitate good behaviour, such as provision of litter bins and information boards in several languages, if necessary.
    MAKING TOURISM MORE SUSTAINABLE A Guide for Policy Makers, World Tourism Organization ( a partner of the United Nations Environment Programme) 2005

  44. Pam Patterson says:

    Steve I too really noticed the change this year and the effect the crowds and rudeness has had on locals and on summer visitors who have been coming for years …even the old time visitors don’t want to return. I have seriously thought about leaving my home here – as have 6 of my friends- after almost 30 years! I have been away from the County for over a month now and realize how important that, as a tourist ( though I am working and living in France and Ireland), I act as an ambassador for my country – or city or county – I have a lot of sympathy for those working in the service industry here because of what I have experienced and witnessed in the County … and as a result of my just being considerate and interested in THEIR lives, I have made some awesome new friends…. I hate to see the County become a playground for the privileged city-its but might this also be an indication of what some people hold (or not hold) as values now ? It makes me cringe ! Spot on Steve my lad ….

  45. Chris Keen says:

    Lori – the owner of that business should have stepped in and said “Enough!” Every business owner should do that. No employee should have to suffer any form of harassment from anyone – tourist or otherwise. We need to step up and demand civility if we encounter these behaviours.

  46. olmnonthmtn says:

    “TO BE A TOURIST is to escape accountability. Errors and failings don’t cling to you the way they do back home. You’re able to drift across continents and languages, suspending the operation of sound thought. Tourism is the march of stupidity. You’re expected to be stupid. The entire mechanism of the host country is geared to travelers acting stupidly……You can exist on this level for weeks and months without reprimand or dire consequence. Together with thousands, you are granted immunities and broad freedoms. You are an army of fools, wearing bright polyesters. There is nothing to think about but the next shapeless event.”
    ― Don DeLillo,
    I have found out that there ain’t no surer way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them.
    -Mark Twain
    Thanks to the interstate highway system, it is now possible to travel from coast to coast without seeing anything.
    -Charles Kuralt
    Travel’ is the name of a modern disease which became rampant in the mid-fifties and is still spreading. The disease – its scientific name is travelitis furiosus – is carried by a germ called prosperity.
    -George Mikes
    The tourist transports his own values and demands to his destinations and implants them like an infectious disease, decimating whatever values existed before. -Arthur Erickson
    The question for us in the County knowing that some tourists’ values aren’t ours is how do we communicate to them you are here as our guests and we expect are values to be respected?

  47. Paul Cole says:

    I suppose the good news is after a tourist drives an hour or so to go to the Sandbanks and gets turned away a couple times in a row the destination conversation in the morning goes something like this, Hey lets go to the Sandbanks well maybe not we can never get in and slowly the tourists stop coming woohoo !!!!

  48. Chuck says:

    You need to get out more Steve. 7 places Lol. They are everywhere! Try Parsons. Try the County Canteen and the fabulous $18.00 burger. Try any resort or any winery. Try to get on “our beach” after 10:00 a.m. We promoted it and wanted it. Little late to reverse direction.

  49. Lori Cairns says:

    My daughter works in the service industry and this year has been the worst. The stories she has told about the rudeness and entitlement are unbelievable. Supposed adults taking temper tantrums when things are not exactly as they wish when they wish. Don’t get me started on the sexual harassment and disgusting language she experienced.

    Lay the blame right where it belongs: with those who act like everyone else is here to serve them. People need to take responsibility for their actions and words.

    People need to realize the world doesn’t revolve around them and that a little politeness and patience goes a long way.

    You are on vacation. Relax!!!! Slow down and enjoy the moment. Become County. You will love it.

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