Posts tagged “Coney Island

Invention and Imitation

Posted on April 22, 2012

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but it is also highly lucrative. Imitation is an ironic hallmark of an industry that on one level is predicated on destinations’ ability to offer a unique experience. Tourists seek novelty for its potential to grant a sense of discovery, but it does not take long for entrepreneurs to recognize a good idea and attempt to replicate it as nearly as possible. Along with tourists’ restlessness when the extraordinary becomes mundane, imitation is a prime reason for tourist destinations to embellish their attractions or reinvent themselves. Early railroad-age travelers hoped to see “real” Indians as a way of eluding the reach of crass, market-oriented America (symbolized by the industrial cities from which many tourists hailed), but their…

Treetop Tourism

Posted on April 22, 2012

Just days before Earth Day, visitors to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, began lining up to experience the tourist destination’s newest attraction: ¬†Zipline Hilton Head. As the Island Packet reported on opening day, the ride, which sends riders suspended from a pulley down gradually sloping wires tethered to a series of treetop towers, mixes family fun with a dose of ecotourism (zip liners can learn about the delicate balance of nature from the company’s hired ecologist/guide) on an island whose early developer pioneered an aesthetic blend of subdued architecture with Lowcountry nature that has until now provided mainly a sylvan backdrop for decidedly calmer forms of recreation. On the face of it, zip lines seem most closely tied to other, more “extreme” forms of…