I travel a good bit and tend to notice little things that rarely get discussed by journalists or historians. For example, I'll sample coffee in various countries that I visit and have come to realize that there are some places on this Earth with five-star brewed coffee, and there are places where it's one-star coffee that can only be fixed with an appropriate amount of alcohol. Another example is the art of letting a travel know via signs on where you are and where the fork in the road will lead you.....with Germany being a place where common sense prevails in all cases, and where Italy is a place where being "LOST" (note emphasis on capitalization) is a minute by minute experience.
Tourism is one of those little things that I tend to notice.
You can walk through an airport in some country and feel like Einstein himself designed the airport, and that it's almost like some Disney-Land experience to walk through the concourse or exit the building.
Some countries take an active part in the design of tourism. Germany is proud of it's tourism angles and works hard to entice just about everyone (even Russians) to come....eat hearty dinners....view ancient castles....wander through the 'magic-kingdom' and its autobahns....and drink beer that makes you often weep (mostly because you have to return to the US and sip PBR...Pabst Blue Ribbon).
England is like some big ancient museum....even if you ride the 'Tube' (the subway system). Around every corner, there's another pub, where ale will be poured and the interior still has the look of the 1930s.
Vienna plays the tourist cards like a game of poker. Those 12.5 million average tourists who come and shuffle through the Palace, and ride the jump-on-jump-off buses? They pump millions into the local economy daily.
Rome thrives....on an hour-by-hour basis with tourists. Just the coliseum itself....has almost 4.5 million tourists per year. The city, block by block, is a tourist-magnet.
So I come to this business article I noticed over the weekend. Saudi Arabia announced last week that they have come to the realization....the oil era will eventually come to an end. It's time now to build the next business era.....agricultural production, military industry, and tourism.
Tourism? Their plan is to build the hotels and resorts, within the next twenty years.....to attract millions to come and spend money in Saudi Arabia.
On the list of unfriendly tourist countries....I'd rank Saudi Arabia behind North Korea, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Venezuela. I'd even rank Mongolia and Iran ahead of Saudi Arabia.
What woman would want to bundle up and cover herself.....by going on some vacation to Saudi Arabia?
What guy would want to go ten days without any booze in Saudi Arabia?
What couple would be confident in their safety or security in Saudi Arabia?
I admit.....both Qatar and Dubai did a lot to attract tourism to their regions. The hotels and shopping experiences....along with a willing nature to accept alcohol....paved the way to success. Toss in the hub deal for flights to Asia and Australia, and they've done a pretty good job. But Saudi Arabia? It's hard to imagine how they'd become some tourist market.