Taking Advantage of Tourists: Clever or Cruel?
It’s prime time summer, which means tourists are flocking to New York City and flooding the streets with fanny packs, European fashion and foreign languages. They’re taking in the sights and sounds of NYC landmarks such as the Statue of Liberty, Times Square and Central Park, just to name a few. Tourists come with loads of money that they are ready to spend to make their American experience that much better.
New Yorkers know this.
The people of New York have come up with tons of creative ways to pry the money out of these tourists’ hands. They’ve charged tourists upwards of $200 to ride the Staten Island Ferry. It’s free. Food truck owners have claimed that cans of soda are $3 each. They’re $1. Taxis and bike drivers go around the same block twice which raises the fare. They didn’t need to go around the block at all.
All of these activities are designed to squeeze every cent out of the tourists’ pockets and into the pockets of New Yorkers.
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Now, many of us reading this live in New York so is this a bad thing? One can argue that it helps grow the American economy, helps people who are struggling financially and provide NY with money to develop its’ city. Tourists come with extra money just in case anyway so it’s no big deal, right?
Creating a hostile tourism environment all for a couple people to occasionally make a few dollars is a bad look for New York, America and tourism in general.
An informed tourist will be overly cautious and may end up keeping the money they brought or not even enjoying their experience at all. This would result in a decrease in tourism numbers and ultimately less money for New York City.
An uninformed tourist may be vulnerable to a New Yorker’s tricks but it wouldn’t take much for them to make the transformation to an informed tourist, especially in a city with a media presence like NY. We may be slick enough to walk straight on to the South Ferry without paying, move to the next food truck when we hear, “A Coke is $3,” and recognize when we pass 14th street for the third time, but tourists don’t.
It’s a shame that some take advantage of tourists as it eventually will end up hurting us but it’ll continue to happen as long as they are misinformed about our city. However, it’s fair play if they decide to view our city during rush hour. Then, all bets are off (jk LOL).