A Conversation for How to Be a Successful Tourist

Isle of Wight Tourists

Post 1

Bluebottle

On the Isle of Wight, we have a population of around 120,000, and get up to 2,200,000 tourists a year.
We see several different types of tourists.
First, there's the walkers & cyclers, who come to the Island for it's many footpaths and briddleways.
Then there's the multi-millionaire yachties, who come for Cowes week and events such as the America's Cup.
Then there's the dinosaur hunters, those interested in the unique Island history, such as Carisbrooke Castle and Osborne house
Then there's the foreign students who come over to learn English.
Then there's the annual invasion of the scooter rally, the traction engines etc.
And the poets, writers & painters, who have included Tennyson, Carroll, Keats, Wesley and many, many more.
Those who come for the Island's beaches and superb weather, who are normally families, or the elderly.
Then recently, there have been the invasion of American tourists who don't fit into the above categories. They tend either to stop at every single house, and then spend hours photographing it and asking questions about it, because it's "so old" when it's just your typical average thatched cottage.
Or there's the tourists who look to their watches as they plan to "do the Island and southern Britain by tea-time, and the rest of Europe by supper", and who don't stop anywhere for more than 2 seconds as they're in such a rush, and miss everything anyway.
It's strange how, in real life, they fit into those 2 extremes, which I always assumed were mere stereotypes. (although many of the walkers, multi-millionaires, dinosaur hunters, traction engine enthusiats and historians are Americans also).

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Isle of Wight Tourists

Post 2

SallyM

'Fraid I did the tourist thingy this summer on the iow. Though as a temporary resident do I count as a tourist? I generally looked at a map and went somewhere I hadn't been before, and hoped that they had an ice-cream van. I am doing a SallyM's view of the icecream vans and tourist spots of the iow, so see what you think when it's done.

My best tip about not looking like a tourist is to keep your mouth shut unless you ABSOLUTELY KNOW something. The amount of people sprouting rubbish about boats or anything else to try and look knowlegeable in front of their friends is unbelievable. There will ALWAYS be someone about who knows more than you do, most will be polite and not contradict you. But do you really want someone to make you look a fool?

SallyM smiley - smiley


Isle of Wight Tourists

Post 3

KWDave

Bluebottle, are you sure you aren't in Key West? Except for the number of locals (about 25,000 or so) you described our tourista seasons exactly.smiley - smiley Imagine having that many tourists on any island that's two miles wide and four miles long...




Isle of Wight Tourists

Post 4

Bluebottle

Yes, the tourists on the Island do tend to not know that much about anything, yet still try to impress their friends. The one thing they constantly do is pronounce all the local places wrong. Shorwell they pronounce Shore-well, and not Shorrel, Whitwell the pronounce White-well, and not Whittle, and sometimes they pronounce "Isle of Wight" "Widget" or "Island Of Wight".

But the tourist season is crazy, and I sympathise and understand what the people of Key West must go through. On the Island, ythe tourists tend to congragate in the East Medine, the West Medine is quieter and more agriculture based. But I guess the reason the American tourists mainly either fall into the "Take ages about anything" or "See the world in 2 days or less" categories is that it is a bit daft for them to travel across the world to the Island just to visit a beach when they've got several on their own continent (although admittedly, not all of them would be as nice.)

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Isle of Wight Tourists

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