Populist politicians all around the world are doing quite a “good” job inciting fear of other cultures. People who vote for these nativist politicians often live outside the cities. The urban population that comes into contact with other cultures much more, often has a much more positive and nuanced view on immigration and integration.
I’m pretty sure (if anybody has data, please email me!) the same logic goes for travelers. People who travel less, are more afraid of other cultures. When traveling, people are currently “playing it safe” by visiting countries they know because they’re afraid of terrorist attacks. Tourism to many countries, especially in the Middle East, has been hit hard. Countries like Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey have taken in twice as many refugees as all European countries combined in the last years, but less and less tourists are coming.
If you look at the facts about terrorism (which you shouldn’t do too much though – Americans for example are 260 times more likely to be struck and killed by lightning than they are of a terrorist attack) it is also not rational. According to the Global Terrorism Index it is for example much safer to visit Jordan, Bosnia and Herzegovina or Kosovo than it is to visit the United States, the UK, France, Germany or Sweden.
We dream about a world where people can move freely, try their luck and enjoy the wonderful palette of cultures the world has to offer. We believe traveling and learning about other cultures makes people more tolerant, which will lead to a more pleasant world for everybody.
We were on the right track to a more open world for a long time, but more and more nations (especially in “the West”) have started moving in the opposite direction again: more border control and limiting international cooperation on all levels.
We’ve thought about what we can do to do our bit to help make a change. Easy! We have decided to expand to Middle Eastern capitals and more cities in “emerging Europe” that too few people from “our part of the world” (most of our visitors are from the US & Europe) visit. Hopefully this motivates our visitors to visit these places. We’re pretty sure with our reach of 2 million people a year more people visit Ljubljana, Skopje, Sofia, Thessaloniki, Tirana and Zagreb after we started a city guide for those cities and actively started promoting these cities.
Right now we have our eyes on Abu Dhabi, Amman, Baku, Beirut, Cairo, Chisinau, Dubai, Jerusalem, Minsk, Nicosia, Podgorica, Pristina, Riyadh, Tasjkent, Tblisi, Tehran and Yerevan. But people from all big cities in Europe & The Middle East are welcome to apply!
Are you a local in one of these cities, or do you know one? Apply or share the following link