Secret Tourism

17 Jan

I have been SLACK! No posts since November.  Ok life goes on and I have another job…Working at Tourism Strategy Group within New Zealand’s Ministry of Economic Development.  It used to be the Ministry of Tourism but things change!   A very interesting change for me, but that is for another blog post I think.

A form of tourism that has inspired me recently can be referred to as ‘Secret Tourism’, although that might just be a term I made up. It involves checking out places that have become disused or are seldom visited – the places between the spaces that people live.  I love this form of tourism because it is a real insight into the workings of society by looking into the past, or the stuff that lies beneath the surface.  If this tourism was a venn diagramme, there would be history in the mix somewhere.

I’m not sure I’m doing it justice, so I will share a couple of examples with you.

The blog Ian Visits, by a nice chap called Ian, has been entertaining me for more than a year.  He explores wonderful ‘secret’ destinations throughout London.  In fact, his ‘tags’ include history, photography, geekery, events and tours, and so on.

The picture above is from a post he wrote about the “Blitz Experience“, an opportunity to enjoy (?) life inside Aldwych tube station, as it was during the Blitz of London.

A more ‘active’ example can be found below, with a keen bugger (appropriately named Andrew Wonder) exploring abandoned sections of the New York subway…In particular the disused “City Hall” station.  I have seen this station discussed in other blogs and its pretty cool to see a video.  You are not supposed to have access to the station because, as the name suggests, it is below City Hall in Manhattan – terror plot anyone?  Andrew shows that you all you need is a backpack and a torch.

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