Once upon a time there was tourism.
Grand hotels in places of renown, guests in evening dress, waiters in uniform or luxury Mediterranean cruises spring to mind, but also the small hotels with a panoramic view and local cuisine, the bed and breakfast booked from one year to the next, home-from-home, « same beach, same sea ».
Yet tourism, which was just that for so long, has changed along with the rest of society, indulging and sometimes anticipating the public’s ever wider and more curious needs, giving rise to new and captivating experiences: from adventure tourism, themed resorts, green and new age tourism to role-play campsites, right down to the « sharing » economy which, in tourism, has given us some of the most striking phenomena of recent times. And for your pleasure, we can share: the loft in Milan, the bijou apartment in Mondello or why not, the 67-footer equipped with Master cabin and moored in Argentario.
For each of these situations, armies of people conceived them, animated them, kept them alive, renewed, defended and loved them. Waiters, cleaners, directors, cooks, host families, all those who, even with just a room to spare, became both hosts and guests; village entertainers, tour operators, suppliers, designers; the list is endless.
Then the latest, dark episode descended upon us, the protagonist of which is a cruel virus, erasing tourism in the blink of an eye, frustrating people’s goals, bringing tour operators to their knees, shrinking our horizons to new confines.
Once upon a time there was tourism: full stop.
Will it return? Of course. Luckily, it is difficult to confine people’s curiosity, the desire to know, to be astounded or simply to rest after a year of effort. We can only imagine what it will look like. Maybe it will be local tourism, at least for a while; for sure it will be green because if we have understood one thing, we have understood that to save ourselves, even from pandemics, we need to include saving the environment.
So we are asking the photographers to cast their eyes over this situation and to describe the sentimental, the critical, ironic and the grotesque. Or, through the subtlety and the force of an image, to suggest what it might become.
So that Art might help us to understand that which escapes rational thinking, that it might accompany us and support us in difficult times.
Organisation and Public Relations
The Carlo Laviosa Foundation