There has been always a debate on this topic of whether tourism can bridge cultural gaps or not. There are some of the people who believe that mixing with more number of people from different origins can actually help in bridging up the cultural gaps in between. While on the other hand, there are some of the other people who think that this is not true for varied reasons.
To understand the actual thing, it is important to understand both the aspects of the picture.
Why Do People Think Tourism Cannot Bridge Cultural Gaps?
There are a number of people who actually think negative about the concept of tourism bridging up the cultural gaps. It is not that they just say this out of ego. There are some of the possible reasons that these people have actually come up for supporting their claims. There are two of the most important points that actually support the claim of these people.
Such people have mentioned that when a tourist is out for an international trip, it is hardly for a week or 10 days. It is not possible for anyone to learn and understand new cultures in such a short span of time. Even if it is possible to get a glimpse of a particular culture, the person needs to stay stagnant at a place for a couple of days. But normally, when a tourist is out on a vacation, he or she wishes to cover up as many different places as possible because they might think that they may not be able to return to the same country again.
Another aspect is that of the expansion of the tourism industry in a vast way. As per a number of people, in almost all the countries, even the locals learn different languages so that they can communicate with the tourists in a language they are comfortable in. Also, when English has been considered to be a common language in a maximum of the countries, mostly, people converse in English so that there is no such communication barrier created. In such a situation, it is quite impossible for tourists to understand the actual culture of the people with whom he or she is communicating.
So, there are a number of diverse points explained by different people who think that tourism is not much effective in bridging up the cultural gaps.
But there is also another side of the coin.
Tourism Can Bridge The Cultural Gaps
Though there are some people who do not accept the concept of tourism bridging the gap, there are also a number of other people who believe in the concept very positively.
There are a number of tourists these days that prefer to have long vacations in place of the shorter ones. There are a number of people across the world who works the whole year without taking many breaks so that they can take a long holiday of a month or so to visit a specific country. Their main goal actually remains to explore a new place and to meet up new people, understand new cultures. Just knowing the language of a particular region is not important, understanding what those people are trying to convey is much more important.
People make use of the common languages such as English to communicate. But the tourists select to stay at a place for a week before migrating to some other place. They stay in the houses of the local people in place of booking a hotel so that they can stay close to them and understand the culture well.
Many Factors To Consider
The culture of a place can be known and understood by a number of factors. Just talking in the same language does not make you familiar with the culture of a place. In order to get the feel of the particular culture, you need to live with them and need to have a close look at a wide number of factors to understand the true colors of the culture.
Some of the important factors that you can track are the culinary styles and interests, the dressing style, the places they visit, the rituals of family, and so on. When you see that they are dressing in a particular way, you can have questions about why is it so, or you can ask about the different food habits. The more you stay connected, the more curious you will get about the way they live and the more you ask, the more you will get answers and will understand the culture better.
Making Friends And Staying Connected
Staying connected with your international friends has become quite easy today with the help of the digital world such as Facebook and others. You can make friends in the country or place that you have visited and can stay connected with the person even when you are back at home. Regular talking with the person will let you know about various things about the person’s culture and in the same way the person can know about your culture too.
Hence, there are a number of ways how it can be said that tourism actually can bridge up the cultural gaps. But of course, people who have opposed the idea are also correct through their point of view. So, again there is no such concrete conclusion to this idea. People think differently and it depends on the perception of the people about what they think about this concept.