30 October 2013
Tourism: Defining the Layers behind the Word
It is that time of year again, that first week of July where hundreds of thousands of individuals congregate in a small town otherwise not overly populated. That week is known as the National Cherry Festival. Originating in the late 1920’s, the annual festival focuses on the beauty of Northern Michigan with a particular spotlight on the cherries harvested in Traverse City’s peninsulas every season. The events are free (or low priced), the surrounding beaches and parks are beautiful, and the event as a whole brings together the community. So why, despite these great attributes, does it feel so hectic during these short eight days? What many may fail to see is the disastrous aftermath of the festival. Higher noise levels, excessive amounts of litter and waste, and increased traffic are all negative outcomes from such events. Society commonly views tourism as beneficial to a certain area, when in reality it deteriorates the surrounding economy and environment. Generally, one would think that the more people, the more successful an event. Larger groups create greater popularity, added wealth, and a positive reputation for the area. However, this may not be true. What if, tourism is exactly the opposite of increased riches and fame? Too many people in one group can create chaos for larger groups and families. When a family of four decides to travel to Traverse City during Cherry Festival for a small vacation, they are just one of thousands of other families who are doing the same. It does not help that the particular town they are traveling to be smaller in size, with a populace just shy of fifteen thousand individuals. With so many additional people concentrated in one general area, it can be difficult to enjoy oneself when trying to focus on staying together while navigating through the intimidating crowd. If they are not paying close enough attention, they could...
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