Tourists Disturb New England Towns

Grace Ryan, News Editor

Although tourism often fuels larger cities, smaller suburban towns can also be centers for tourism. Unlike large cities that are often busy constantly, non-city tourism spots often result in an intrusion of a town’s year-
round residents. These tourist locations often become busier around certain times a year and for the rest of the year are left without much business. Therefore, tourism towns face unreliable waves of prosperity that disrupt their normal happenings.

Most popular tourism spots can be found within big cities that often have continual tourism with spurts of busier seasons such as Las Vegas and Times Square. Anytime of the year, tourists flood these areas and fuel their economies. On the other hand, the Grand Canyon is not located in a city. Despite its rural location, the Grand Canyon receives year round tourism, so the tourism fuels the town. These towns and major cities with popular tourist spots are designed around tourism, so are accustomed to tourists.

Unlike these major tourist spots, smaller tourism locations are often seasonal and receive an unstable flow of tourists and business. For most of the year, these towns run like an average town, without many visitors, but as the busy seasons begin, tourism invades the townspeople’s average lives. Some residents may not care and enjoy the change of pace with visitors, while others may see the tourists as a disturbance largely because what is normal life to them, tourists exaggerate and even exploit. Additionally, tourists do not always provide a steady source of income as they are based seasonally. Also, a business can have a hard time preparing for how busy the busy-season will actually be. Many places in New England, especially the Massachusetts and Rhode Island areas, experience these tourism invasions.

One small tourist city in Massachusetts, especially around the fall season, is Salem. Salem’s busy season comes around Halloween, but the rest of the year it is much like any other small city. Many businesses such as ghost rides and museums attract more visitors around the fall, but the rest of the year receive few visitors. This year during the Halloween season, Salem faced troubles with parking as tourists infringe the lives of local businesses with their large numbers. Beyond parking spaces, tourists often do not respect the places they visit as they leave trash, do not respect the town’s traditions, and do not respect that other people besides tourists live in the town.

Other local tourism spots include Cape Cod and Newport. Year-round residents as well as
seasonal residents fill these towns, but there are certain times when tourists flood in large numbers such as on the Fourth of July. Although tourists can provide an economic lift to many areas, tourists can potentially overflow these small towns during an already busy summer season with the addition of seasonal residents. Tourists intrude as they increase wait times, invade private beaches and residential areas, and pollute.

Although major cities may run off of tourism, tourism can intrude on the lives of locals in smaller cities and towns. Without a year-long steady flow of tourism, small towns can be overwhelmed and tourism can disrupt the lives of many businesses and residents.