First come the explorers – sailing off the edge of the world in their flimsy vessels. Discovering the undiscovered and opening the way for the first settlers to set up the outposts of civilisation. And when they have killed off the natives and destroyed their culture, settlers become inhabitants and finally the tourists arrive to visit those vestiges of native culture that the settlers and inhabitants haven’t totally destroyed.
We’re all bloody tourists, have been, or will be one day. We like to cast ourselves in explorer mode – we want to be travellers, but we are all tourists. We arrive as invaders, in our garish, noisy hordes. Disgorging from planes coaches and cruise ships. Snapping away, stealing moments and local souls for our blogs, logs, websites and scrapbooks. Buying « made in china » souvenirs and all the while herded like cattle and treated like scum. « More bloody tourists » sigh the locals.