Monday, August 2, 2010

The Australians Are Coming

If foreign tourists are an indication of their respective countries economic fortunes then Australia must be booming and America is fully recovered from its recession. These two groups seem to make up the bulk of foreign tourists in Italy at the moment (or in Cinque Terre in Liguria, to be precise). And the Chinese aren't far behind (mostly in large, tour-guided groups - the Japanese tend to tour on their own/with their families these days).

Italy remains one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world - according to the OECD - and it's obvious why: culture, weather, lifestyle, food, wine etc. And their cars, of course. Though there is one less attractive feature: apparently Italian men are not the charmers of foreign women that they have still consider themselves to be. So say foreign women. And my wife agrees - or at least she says she does...

Another big surprise - in the five years since I last visited Italy - it has got a lot more expensive: eating out is now on a par with Dublin, and supermarket prices aren't too far behind. Maybe there's an idea for Tourism Ireland: invite the Aussies to continue on to Ireland, and enjoy the benefits of our newly deflated, lower priced economy?

2 comments:

  1. I saw one Aussie here in Dublin tonight, Christos Tsiolkas, author of the international bestseller, The Slap. I haven't read the book but after hearing Christos speak I would like to. He described it as a slap on contemporary Australian culture. As for the Italians I've been put off from them ever since a night in Rome when my attempts at being polite to an Italian by making way from at the door and saying 'prego' were answered with his angry prego prego prego! I thought then that my 12 weeks of Italian classes were obviously not going to be enough, and that if I really wanted to be able to insult that rude man back I would have to get a lot better at the Italian language. But I don't think learning a people's language just so you can insult them is a good enough reason to learn a language and I haven't been back since..! Do say ciao to everybody for me though ! Spero che abbiate una grande vacanza!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I saw one Aussie here in Dublin tonight, Christos Tsiolkas, author of the international bestseller, The Slap. I haven't read the book but after hearing Christos speak I would like to. He described it as a slap on contemporary Australian culture. As for the Italians I've been put off from them ever since a night in Rome when my attempts at being polite to an Italian by making way from at the door and saying 'prego' were answered with his angry prego prego prego! I thought then that my 12 weeks of Italian classes were obviously not going to be enough, and that if I really wanted to be able to insult that rude man back I would have to get a lot better at the Italian language. But I don't think learning a people's language just so you can insult them is a good enough reason to learn a language and I haven't been back since..! Do say ciao to everybody for me though ! Spero che abbiate una grande vacanza!

    ReplyDelete

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