When do you decide not to visit?

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by TravelBear, Apr 1, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. TravelBear

    TravelBear Gold Member

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    This is not meant to be a political discussion, but to promote discussion on how MPers use this kind of information when choosing travel destinations.

    While I do not pretend to be all knowing in world politics I find what is happening in Hungary at the moment a little disturbing. I am not naive enough to think that my own country doesn't have room to grow in terms of creating a better democracy but some of the amendments Hungary is looking at making seem like such a step backwards. Outlawing homelessness, quieting discontent, barring justices from citing rulings made before the new constitution and strictly defining family are a few things that stick out. I am not finding an information on this since mid-March of this year.

    I was considering visiting Budapest later this year however this makes me reconsider spending my money elsewhere. I realize I don't have to agree, and won't, with the policy of every place I visit however this just seems very in my face.

    I have also nixed any burgeoning ideas of visiting Russia as well. At least for now.

    How would you use such information to determine travel plans? What is your tipping point?
     
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  2. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    I have been to both Budapest (2 years ago) and Moscow (3 years ago) and had a great time each time. My sense is that one would probably be very restricted on places one visits if the internal politics of other countries figure prominently in one's calculations of whether or not to visit. Should one avoid traveling to China as a tourist because PRC's political system offends one's sensibilities? It is a personal decision, of course, but my primary considerations are my safety and my freedom of movement as a tourist who will just get in and get out. A great resource that I check religiously before I visit any country is the US State Department website's entry for each country. I take especially seriously the website's info on do's and don'ts and warnings about any potentially dangerous social or political developments in my calculations.

    At the moment, the State Department does not counsel against traveling to Hungary, and the info is pretty much the same as it was a couple of years ago when I decided to attend an international conference in Budapest.

    The latest Worldwide Caution Notices are about traveling to Mali, DPRK (North Korea) and Guinea.

    P.S. At the very top of the State Department website entry for each country there is a link to "Recent Embassy Notices for American Citizens" related to that country, which is definitely worth visiting.
     
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  3. MX

    MX Gold Member

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    My tipping points are very similar to yours. I enjoyed visiting Hungary & Russia 3-5 years ago, but would not consider setting foot there under the current circumstances. Despite the defiant noises from the ruling regimes in both countries, they are acutely sensitive to tourist flows and public opinion in the civilized world (where they often keep their families and wealth). I think it's commendable to choose travel destinations according to our values, and do whatever little we can to make a difference.
     
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  4. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    Noble and commendable, indeed, but ultimately ineffective unless as part of a groundswell or an official blockade or embargo. Splintered opposition seldom succeeds, and to think that a few dissenting voices here and there would move a country like Hungary, China or the Russian Federation to alter their internal policies is, at best, a Quixotic quest, when the Most Powerful Nation on Earth(tm) is powerless...
     
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  5. MX

    MX Gold Member

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    I happen to come across quite a few recent reasonably priced travel offers to Russia. I recall from 5 years ago that both airfare and hotels there were notoriously pricey. So who knows, maybe traveler attitudes do make a difference. ;) I am not a big fan of blockades, embargoes, and other hysterical actions. Those are typically ineffective and come too late.
     
  6. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    Hmmm... A correlation between the reasonably priced offers and a few dissenting voices boycotting travel to Russia needs to be established first. If "blockades, embargoes, and other histerical actions" are typically ineffective then I am puzzled as to what your own blockade, embargo, and to me, "hysterical action" would accomplish other than to limit your travel to some of the best destinations with great historical, human interest, or landscapes worth seeing. BTW, when I went to Russia, I had paid $360 (including taxes) to do LGA-IAD-DME and back on a UA "offer" ;)
     
  7. MX

    MX Gold Member

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    And you can't imagine that low fares might possibly be correlated with low demand?
    I can't comment objectively on the number of "dissenting voices", as our perception is inevitably colored by our social circle. Despite the disclaimer in the OP, it is a very political discussion. ;)
     
  8. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    The low UA fare had nothing to do with low demand, and that was precisely the point. UA was starting a non-stop service between IAD and DME and the low fare was to promote it, regardless of what the demand was. So, low fares can simply reflect a campaign to promote travel to a region that had been isolated from the rest of the world for way too long, and the low demand/fares may simply be a reflection of that reality rather than the result of a boycott.

    My basic point remains the same, however: if "blockades, embargoes, and other hysterical actions", which I believe would be the way to make a difference, are typically ineffective then I am puzzled as to what your own blockade, embargo, and to me, "hysterical action" would accomplish other than to limit your travel to some of the best destinations with great historical, human interest, or landscapes worth seeing...
     

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