The offer applies to anyone aged 18-30 who is an EU citizen and a resident in Spain. It includes discounts of up to 90 percent on state-run buses and short-to-medium distance trains.https://www.thelocal.es/20230510/spain-to-pay-national-bus-and-train-tickets-for-young-people-this-summer?tpcc=newsletter_subscriber&utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=how_to_get_a_100_mortgage_in_spain_and_more_travel_discounts_for_young_people&utm_term=2023-05-10
Category Archives: travel
In search of cultural truths
by Marie Lena Tupot and Tim Stock, scenarioDNA inc.
No one will think about Italy’s “Barbie Venus” campaign 6 months from now, but many will continue to make the same mistakes as the world flies beyond 20th-century marketing techniques. The Italy campaign serves as a marker of dismay and innovation washing. Yet, it’s not only Italy’s minister of tourism missing the mark, we in New York were way off base with recent New York City rebranding too. There are real issues in these cases beyond a misguided art director that set the stage for policy planning globally.
Cultural truths need to be examined.
The most obvious is the generative AI version of Botticelli’s Venus. With the trend of de-influencing gaining momentum, Botticelli’s Venus is identified as an influencer named Venere and looks like an ad for Botox. Further, the campaign places Venere at age 30+. If art history rumors are true, the model for Botticelli did not live beyond her 22nd year. Botticelli’s paintings were an expression of love for a woman coming of age and otherworldliness regarding her absence. The knowing gaze of Venere is not evocative of the unreachable gaze of Venus.
So…where is the love, Italy? Venere begins her tour of Italy clothed while the marvel of Michelangelo’s David is being censored in the US states so much so that the mayor of Florence, Dario Nardella, and the director of Florence’s Accademia Gallery, Cecilie Hollberg, invited former principal Hope Carrasquilla for a personal tour after she was asked to resign for exposing students to the David. (Carrasquilla also showed her students The Birth of Venus in her natural state.)
Tourism Minister Daniela Santanchè said in a press conference unveiling the campaign, “We are the most beautiful nation in the world but we are not the best at promoting ourselves. We need to regain our pride in being Italian, in our identity.” She missed the point. Modern pride lives within Italy’s contemporary makers, creators and innovators. None of which were included in the conception of the campaign.
A representative from Armando Testa, the agency that executed the Venere campaign, explained the need to use the Venus as “an easy, direct and immediately recognizable way to promote Italy abroad.” Marketers lose who they are when they resort to such shortcuts. It’s the same way with executive briefs. Richness and research get lost.
Marketers need to see the human beings in front of them.
Also, consider that when Italy blocked ChatGPT regarding data privacy concerns and generative AI, VPN activity in Italy rose 400%. At the time, there were Youtube instructions on how to circumvent the ban through VPN access. One might consequently assume that Italy certainly is not at a loss for inspired generative AI creators. Where were those creative technologists when Italy needed them? Italy’s National Innovation Fund supports such up-and-comer types through venture capital. Instead, they were having their wrists slapped because no one quite knows how to handle AI.
The allegory of rebirth and renewal makes perfect sense for Italy. A sophomoric generative AI version of Botticelli’s Venus does not make sense.
Recent tourism has boomed for Italy this spring without the guidance of Venere. That said, Italy cannot sustain itself on tourism alone. Its newly found post-Covid vitality must be driven from within its modern-day maker culture. This culture already exists. It holds the narrative red threads back to Botticelli. According to Frieze Magazine, “spontaneous, informal networks are transforming the art scene of the eternal city [Rome].” Why aren’t they being reached out to?
We can’t be creating media for the lowest common denominators. If we do, then media is simply chasing after phenomena that have already happened. Moving forward, campaigns should bring us to where our imaginations want to go. Gone is the world where campaigns start and end.
Campaigns are now living breathing records reflecting our own existence.
Does anyone want to be Venus Barbie? Doubtful. Do people want to feel the love of Botticelli that can only be found in Italy? Yes.
Recovery is critical for Italy, a country seriously impacted by COVID-19. But these lessons should be learned by all of us involved in messaging anywhere. Campaigns everywhere should be able to consistently evolve from informed ideas.
This popular Italian region is imposing restrictions on tourists
“We reached the limit of our resources, we had problems with traffic, and residents have difficulty finding places to live,” he said, adding that they want to “guarantee the quality [of life] for locals and tourists,” which has been growing harder over the past decade.https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/italy-tourist-restrictions-alto-adige/index.html
Bali locals are fed up with bad tourists
Bali is part of a growing number of popular travel destinations fed up with overtourism. Hawaii is considering a bill to dissolve its government-sponsored tourism marketing agency. Amsterdam has been trying to reduce rowdy tourist behavior in its Red Light District,rolling out a ban on pot-smoking on the streets there, reducing hours for restaurants and brothels, and tightening some alcohol restrictions. Italian authorities have been fining tourists in Rome, Florence and Venice for littering, camping, vandalism and traffic violations.https://www.washingtonpost.com/travel/2023/04/11/bali-bad-tourists-deported/
Can Boracay Beat Overtourism?
Called one of the world’s best islands, the Philippine resort was closed by the government for six months and reopened with a cap on visitors. Now, with travelers coming back, will it continue to hold the line?https://www.nytimes.com/2023/04/11/travel/boracay-philippines-overtourism.html
The American Elite Are Planning Their Escape — And It Starts With Paying For Passports
“Very wealthy people, they’re very, very risk-averse,” Surak said. “They’re kind of paranoid. They have a lot of money, and they’ll do a lot to keep it safe — a second citizenship, a third citizenship, a backup Plan B, a backup Plan C, a backup Plan D. … You’re getting more and more ‘Armageddon Americans’: Either [President Joe] Biden ‘the communist’ is going to take over America, or the fascists are going to take over.”https://www.huffpost.com/entry/backup-passports-secondary-citizenship_n_6414a627e4b0fef15243ec07
The rise and rise of the branded residence
Now that old-world glamour is having a revival via the relaunch of the Waldorf Astoria, which was the world’s largest and tallest hotel when it opened in 1931. An immaculate restoration has added condominiums above the 375 hotel rooms, and “The Towers of the Waldorf Astoria” (where apartments are for sale from $1.8mn, through Knight Frank and Douglas Elliman) have already attracted more than 12,000 inquiries.https://www.ft.com/content/7483ebff-8b1c-4269-a222-a25f30ac2d07
“Far Away” as a luxury signifier keeps evolving
The ideological framework of “far away” has been used as a luxury signifier over the last few decades as externalities around it have changed. Its meaning has implied a sense of “global access” and “entitlement”. The water category is a prime example to see how these signifiers have evolved over the decades and face new challenges today as the idea of “far away” creates new cultural dissonance. Changes began to take hold after the recession in 2008 as a shift to guilt and localism began to replace global as having a more potent social currency for luxury.
From the 1980s when sushi became a signifier of that global access. The history of sushi’s rise in the United States has a lot to do with making the supply chain meet that desire. How can I eat raw fish “far away” from its source? You can if you are willing to pay for it. It becomes the signifier of 1980s aspirational luxury.
Today that idea of global access and entitlement has more complicated problems. Growing inequality and the pandemic have made the idea of “far away” more complicated. We see luxury signifiers shifting to a more “escape pod” ideological framework. From space tourism to luxury bunkers and the metaverse as well.
A student in Analyzing Trends pointed to the Space Perspective package being sold, so you can be a passenger on a balloon-borne pressurized capsule scheduled to make its first test flights early next year. A $125,000 temporary escape pod.
Douglas Rushkoff wrote about tech billionaires who are buying up luxurious bunkers and hiring military security to survive a societal collapse they helped create. And there is an article in The Atlantic that points out how we are already living in the metaverse.
Dystopias often share a common feature: Amusement, in their skewed worlds, becomes a means of captivity rather than escape. George Orwell’s 1984 had the telescreen, a Ring-like device that surveilled and broadcast at the same time. The totalitarian regime of Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 burned books, yet encouraged the watching of television. Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World described the “feelies”—movies that, embracing the tactile as well as the visual, were “far more real than reality.” In 1992, Neal Stephenson’s sci-fi novel Snow Crash imagined a form of virtual entertainment so immersive that it would allow people, essentially, to live within it. He named it the metaverse.https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2023/03/tv-politics-entertainment-metaverse/672773/
This Is How Tourism Must Shift to Actually Address Climate Change
An estimated 11% of global greenhouse gas emissions are due to tourism, and that’s predicted to double by 2050, the year scientists have forecast as the tipping point for all sorts of ecological disasters. By then, our planet will have warmed 1.5C (2.7F) above preindustrial times. By the end of the century, the figure looks to be 2C (3.6F), with that half-degree making a huge difference. If emissions are left unchecked, this warming will accelerate, bringing forth a distinctly heightened level of cataclysmic weather patterns.https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-11-14/how-tourism-can-hit-net-zero-by-2050-an-unrealistic-but-not-impossible-solution