Hello all! I am back
My conference break was great, I have been quite busy sciencing (= doing science related activities) during the week, but also had the opportunity to do some tourism in Gent!
Gent...what to say - pretty and scenic in parts, and still filled with hordes of people, tourists to be exact. And I was told that Gent was better for that compared to other parts of Belgium, such as Bruges... I don't want to dare to imagine what Bruges is like, then!
However, if you find yourself in Gent and want to get away from the crowd, just take a side road away from all of the fake chocolate shops and you will find yourself immerse in quiet, maybe even too quiet - where are the locals? Where does one find a cup of coffee away from the crowds?
They say tourism is ruining cities, driving away local residents, and this has been demonstrated in the big city destinations such as Venice, Barcellona, Amsterdam (some great articles about it can be found here and here), but what about the smaller destinations? They are affected too! Large city tours get in your way when trying peacefully observing the inside of a church - normally being formed by a group of loud people thinking they have the right to be there and are often inconsiderate to others and ignore their surroundings (and perhaps are a little merry from a cheeky morning beer, because 'we are on holiday')..
So.. How can we be more sustainable tourists?
Firstly, read this guide on the UNESCO site for some interesting insights into tourism and sustainability
And a nice infographic
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