Dinosaurs – not the real ones of course but their human ancestors readily thrive in our societies, particularly in places you would never expect. Take the little visit with a respected economic advisor from ASCOM in Bologna yesterday (mention no names as I might have to go back some day!). He quite happily declared that he was a man of the 1700′s… and that technology such as video guides (dear God what next in this world) has no place among the Bolognese business circles. “They don’t want it,” was his reply. He must be psychic since he didn’t even bother to ask them meaning that he already posseses the power to elicit their combined thought on this matter!
Funny thing is though, just that morning I was telephoned by one of those very business men who happens to be one of the leading hoteliers and reputedly quite a force in Bologna. His opinion no less seemed to differ in an extraordinary way. On top of requesting about video guides for four hotels he also inquired if I would be interested in restaurants too. Needless to say areponse was a positive response was forthcoming.
Of course, Bologna is by no means walkig the plank on its own in these terms. One of last posts refers to the continous frustration dealing with public servants and tourist chiefs in Belfast. In fact, take a look at the Belfast Welcome Centre today and you will still see that after many months of development they have still only got 1 single video for the whole of Belfast on their site. It lasts a whopping 1.01 minute long but actually requires a 10minute wait for it to stream onto the screen. This is the promotion of tourism at its best during the worst financial disaster in decades. Just pray we don’t get hit by another too soon.
Consider these following situations and the implications: imagine future job applicants who were anti-environmental going for a post in a recycling plant; a car mechanic wanting to be an artist, a modern secretary with no computer literacy, a lawyer taking up a career as a barman and so the list goes. Leaving aside extreme changes of circumstances that may push someone into taking any of the above, each concept is as daft as it obviously reads. But apply this to the tourism sector and it seems they let anyone through the door. So, instead of promoting and seeking to uncover the bountiful secrets for others to enjoy which inevitably leads to local jobs, stronger economy etc there are dinosaurs lurking in these institutions who seek to suppress the general aims of tourism.
To conclude therefore, it’s quite possible that the frustrating situations illustrated in Belfast and Bologna could be avoided in future with one simple remedy. Any job applications regarding tourism or the development of local enterprises should be subject to a thorough pyschological analysis. This would take the form of tests like: is the glass half empty or half full? Do you prefer sunshine or nightfall? If you were on a desert island would you prefer to have a Swiss army knife or a nice comfortable bed? More questions and ambiguous scenarios like these would surely weed out the dinosaurs from those modern thinking servants who really want to serve the interests of tourists flocking to town.