I faced a difficult decision after the American election. I was invited on a press trip to Branson, Missouri — a red state in what some call the mid-West and what others call the South. Many write it off as “Flyover America”.
In this article for The Wayward Post, I explain my thought process of deciding whether to go, when so many Canadians and Europeans were saying we should boycott U.S. travel as a way of protesting Trump and his campaign hate speech. I also talk about what I found in Branson, both the good and what needs improvement:
Visiting “Flyover America” in a Trump world: my perspective as a Canadian visiting middle America now that Trump will be president.
What’s your opinion? Does boycotting a destination make a difference in changing government policies and in changing public discourse?
Ethical decisions abound when travelling. I’ve written a lot on responsible tourism, about everything from whether you should travel after a terrorist attack, to avoiding scams, to protecting cultures, to etiquette tips about what you should wear and where you can kiss. Links are on my responsible tourism page.
Not all was serious. Branson had lots of fun, including one of the best roller coasters I’ve ever been on (Outlaw Run, at Silver Dollar City), and this mesmerising Ferris wheel, which was just moved from Chicago’s Navy Pier:
I don’t understand the whole “boycott the U.S.” thing. I mean, I get it but do people really think that’s going to change the presidency? That people will go “Oh no the Canadians aren’t coming anymore so we should impeach Trump?” It’s going to be interesting to see how the next four years play out that’s for sure.
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That’s exactly the point I make in my article — I don’t think boycotting makes much difference in political decisions, and in fact can make a destination more isolated and therefore more extremist. But I do think that sharing concerns that result in economic decisions can help. Money talks!
Yes, it will be a very interesting next four years …. And let’s hope that we can all stay focussed on the issues that matter, and not get swept up in Twitter wars about Broadway plays and Saturday Night Live! :-)
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