Is this irresponsible tourism? A group of London lads travel to Ibiza to film a music video parodying a certain brand of British tourism–cue littering, reckless spending, drunkenness, vomiting, and the wanton spreading of venereal disease–and subsequently achieve notoriety by posting their production, Pizza in Ibiza, to YouTube (390,000+ views since early June).
While the Director General of Toursim for the Balearic Islands’ autonomous community, Jaime Martínez, has erupted–“it’s intolerable that four louts have smeared the image of Ibiza for their own benefit”–I was left wondering if they hadn’t captured part of the reality of mass party tourism to Ibiza.
I have taken my first plunge into blogging here close on the heels of rioting in urban England. Many of the first televised reactions with those affected first and first-hand—the non-rioting residents of some London neighbourhoods—revealed the shocks to many people’s sense of place, particularly in terms of their identifying with the place they live in. One black woman’s plaintive response sticks in my mind: “…but this is England”, as if this kind of thing doesn’t and shouldn’t happen in her place, her home, her England. Issues of belonging lie beneath the surface of what has happened too—“this is our community, and we have come here to get it back on its feet again”.