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Tourism’s growing backlash against #TravelGoals

Friends having some holiday fun
Image: rawpixel/123RF

Social media has turned the world on its head in more ways than one. Suddenly, millennials were considering deep philosophical questions such as, “If you don't post it on Facebook, did it really happen?” In an article for the Guardian, Jacob Silverman posits that sharing our every moment of life on Instagram and other social media has become the “new living”.

Despite this, a backlash against social media travelling is emerging. From hotels to tourism sites and even cities, many are taking a stance against social media and the selfie culture.

Here are five ways the tourism world is saying enough is enough to #travel #livingmybestlife #winning #blessed.

Welcome to Vienna. Not #Vienna

The kiss, 1907, by Gustav Klimt (1862-1918), oil on canvas, Belvedere (Art Gallery
Image: DeAgostini/Getty Images

 Vienna has launched a digital detox campaign encouraging tourists to “enjoy the city behind your pics”, by putting aside their smartphones. According to iNews, the campaign, called Unhashtag Vienna, was launched earlier this month at the Belvedere Palace and Art Gallery. As part of it, a replica of Gustav Klimt’s famous artwork The Kiss was covered with a red hashtag. The real artwork was placed in separate room where visitors could “consciously” take in the painting without the distraction of social media.

Bali resort bans phones and tablets from poolside

The Ayana Resort and Spa in Bali, Indonesia, has banned the use of phones and tablets at one of their pools between 9am and 5pm, the Telegraph reports, giving visitors a social media and technology-free experience for a good eight hours. “The ethos of River Pool is to create a place of tranquility where our guests can truly relax and be ‘in the moment’.”

Hotel says no to #freeloaders

After an online row with a YouTube vlogger, an eatery and hotel in Dublin, Ireland, the White Moose Café, banned travel bloggers. Ellie Darby, an influencer with hundreds of thousands of followers, wanted a free stay at the hotel in exchange for social media marketing to her followers. Instead, the hotel published her email on Facebook with a long post about how influencers and “people who write stuff on the internet” are freeloaders.

The Forbidden City forbids selfie sticks

Chinese tourists use 'selfie sticks' to take pictures as they stand on Jingshan Park overlooking the Forbidden City during Spring Festival celebrations on February 20, 2015 in Beijing, China
Image: Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

The Palace Museum in Beijing, China, known as the Forbidden City, has placed a ban on selfie sticks. They are considered a safety hazard for both visitors to the museum and the precious relics it houses, the deputy director of tourist reception said in a 2015 Telegraph interview. The Nanjing Museum and the Capital Museum in Beijing have also waged war against the selfie stick, according China Daily USA, breaking the hearts of angle seekers.

These are not teddy bears!

The US Forest Service had to issue a safety warning to hikers at Lake Tahoe in California asking them to refrain from taking selfies with the wild bears. In 2014, according to CBS San Franscisco, Taylor Creek Visitor Center officials threatened to close off the centre if people didn’t stop getting too close to take pictures of bears. But a simple search of #taylorcreek will reveal that many people are still willing to play with their lives for the ’Gram.


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