Leisure Intelligence

The massive increase in the price of fuel, food and energy, coupled with a major downturn in the economy has caused major changes in the leisure needs of everyone.The fallout is being felt across the entire leisure industry, from airlines, to hotels, attractions and restaurants. Leisure Intelligence crafts the scenarios that may be ahead for the operators of leisure properties.

US Analysts agree the days of cheap flights, and cheap vacations half way around the world are ended. The massive investment in leisure complexes such as Disney World, far away from centers of population could be at risk if the fuel cost spiral continues.

But whilst the United States is moaning and complaining the rest of the world is seeing new potential in this shifting leisure pattern. Local sources of leisure are being improved, and in most countries the quality of Leisure Time is far higher than the United States, despite the US having some of the most beautiful scenery around, and equally as impressive local attractions. The problem lies, as usual, with Big Business and ineffective investment and planning by Cities, Counties and small towns. The total lack of direction by the Federal Government does not help either.

In the congested countries of Europe closed industrial properties are rapidly redeveloped by private and public partnerships, where even the smallest group can request funding and develop their little corner. In the US it's dominated by greedy partnerships, usually including expensive academic partners and the floating of 501 3c corporations built by big business interests. There rarely is room for the small entrepreneur. This must change.

Most of Washington, DC's tourism organizations are staffed and funded by Big Business and are there to protect the Giants and fend off criticism and challenges. The likes of Disney and Marriott can bring enormous pressure to bear to convince people to travel thousands of miles, past hundreds of attractions to have a truly "Packaged" holiday. The small local attractions are hung out to dry, left to the local tourism patchwork, who usually can only distribute printed leaflets to the local Visitors Center. There is insufficient emphasis on local leisure, where an entire family can learn about the natural world, before we concrete it over, destroy the wildlife, and open more shopping centers. The increase in violence and crime is the result in our abandoning nature, sports and outdoor activities, and staring endlessly at computers, TV and violent video games.

Leisure is very cyclic and in many cases driven by fads and fashion. For thousands of years fathers have taken their sons to the river banks and enjoyed talking and fishing. Now it's fighting traffic and crowds to watch grossly overpaid spoilt ball players act like Prima Donnas in a cramped stadium that costs an incredible amount to visit. Little wonder the kids are aggressive, don't have any work ethic, and join violent anti-social Gangs. After falling for the commercials extolling the American Dream of multiple autos, credit cards and vacations in theme parks the average American worker can look forward to hearing that his job has been outsourced and he is dumped. The Chinese and Indians love walking, fishing and simple restful vacations.

My bet is on Fishing Tourism to get us out of the downward spiral to Obesity and Hypertension. It brings together the Great Outdoors, the knowledge of equipment and techniques, and the aggressive spirit to hook, and land the battling fish. Those who want quiet solitude can fish for trout, those that want to shed their aggression can fish for Marlin and Shark.

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