In The Art of Travel, De Botton suggested there are no more places left to discover. With the overwhelming amount of information available on each and every major destination around the world it is likely that I could discover the major landmarks just as well from my computer than walking through them. Of course travellers will argue that first-hand experience is what matters, even if millions of people have had the same opportunity. While exploring the best reasons to travel I had emphasized the quest for the “experience”:
The tourist that never leaves the beaten path is likely only exposed to an esterile experience that has been washed out of all its original power.
One could argue that the splendour of any famous landmark is constantly diluted by the ongoing attack of mass tourism, misguided by a market saturated of travel guides that most of the times reference the same top 10 or 20 landmarks not to be missed, while telling us every snippet of knowledge that travellers must know about these places, cancelling every attempt to make that experience unique.
The age of discovery is over. Every corner of our planet has been documented ad nauseam… [...]
Using the Emerging Markets Index released by Mastercard back in October, I’ve created something I’m going to call the Emerging Destination Index as a tool to provide clues as to which non-traditional tourist destinations may provide the fundamental infrastructure to sustain the type of travellers that I’ve been discussing over the last little while in this blog.
The original index data is available from Mastercard, and all I did was to reconfigure the weights assigned by the original methodology to assign more value to those dimensions that have a higher impact on the ability of a traveller to operate remotely from the region with fair access to a urban standard of living. These are the weights I assigned:
Economic and Commercial Environment (0%) – Used in the original index to measure time and costs for building a standard warehouse, registering a property, exporting/importing cargo, and rate corruption and foreign bond, it seemed mostly irrelevant for the purpose of this index, so I left it out.
Economic Growth and Development (10%) – Measuring the broad economic health and growth of the national economy this dimension seems to be the best way of describing the level of infrastructure that will [...]
As we struggle to find ways to survive the current crisis and look at the leaders of the world to provide guidance, the latest Hub Culture 2009 Zeitgeist Ranking will come in handy as a tour of the cities that are better positioned to sustain an acceptable quality of life while providing plenty of opportunities to rebuild for the future. A zeitgeist reflecting the drama of our times:
its not really about the Obamas – its about the context of our changing expectations of government
Berliners become an enigma – povo at home, increasingly affluent abroad
Just ignore the noxious skyline as you watch the GDP growth rates, still hovering near 9%
LA’s fashion scene has stagnated, and the city’s hold on entertainment is slipping to diffusion by web 2.0
the principles of kaizen (continuous improvement) are shaping a really cool new Japanese ecovibe
The general attitude down under appears to be one of distant concern
Here, ‘crunch’ is in the quinoa, not in the financial vocabulary
The city is rich enough to sit out the bust, and it can always rely on China’s neighboring Guangdong province to drive the local economy
Hunger breeds innovation, because people actually have to think, plot and [...]
Every year Stan Stalnaker and his team of global citizens gather their experiences around the world and summarize in this, their now famous Hub Culture’s Zeitgeist Ranking, the cities that for a variety of reasons seem to be at the center of the Universe. An elusive classification that doesn’t get impressed with economic power, flawless life-styles or centuries-old traditions, is mostly based on heuristics that related to the needs and desires of global citizens hoping from hub to hub networking their way into urban authorities. This is their veredict:
Los Angeles, United States
In some ways, the doom and gloom LA has experienced recently has presaged the general red alerts now being felt elsewhere – from environmental crisis to economic lapse, LA seems to have arrived in the shits just before everyone else.
As the cutting edge vibe in London wanes, Berlin continues to draw the young and the restless, and its ties to a resurgent East (i.e. Moscow, Warsaw) are really showing dividends.
Even as Mumbai gridlock threatens to become a 24/7 state of affairs, India in general and Mumbai in particular continue their assault on the global consciousness. It’s hard to argue against Mumbai, especially with so many [...]