Yes! Edinburgh is to introduce a tourist tax! About time. For too long we have allowed private interests to monetise communal space. Tour buses clogging up town centres. Public parks fenced off for private events. All over the world hordes of tourists reduce unique cities to a succession of cheap restaurants and “street theatre” – Jugglers, “pavement artists” and people who think that sitting all day in a one legged metal frame with a cloak thrown over it makes them look like bloody Yoda. You go on holiday thinking you’ll be staying with a local family of Croatia farmers but since all the homes are rented through AirBnBloodyB you’re actually shacking up next to a bunch of butane salesman from Illinois. Unchecked tourism means that every street in every city is the same. Here’s a riddle:
What’s the difference between a Guy Fawkes Night in Saffron Walden, A Loy Krathong festival in Thailand, Carnival in Maastricht and Glastonbury?
NOTHNING! Not a bloody thing. They are all the same. They all have fireworks, they all have bouncy castles, they all have a sound system playing modern music and they all have multiple food stalls flogging food from around the world.
Diversity my arse!
..and don’t get me started on driverless cars.