Authentic vs. Ethical

I was commenting on the Victoria student’s post on flooding in Venice and then began to read Guelph students posts on authenticity.  It’s interesting to think about the connections between these two topics. I responded to the students’ blog, questioning whether it was ethical to ‘promote’ the negative effects of climate change as tourism attractions, as is the case in Venice.  Here’s part of what I wrote:

Venice’s flooding acting almost as an attraction in itself and becoming a ‘must see’ for tourists is quite ironic. It’s interesting to look at some of the ‘positives’ that may be arising for the tourism as a result of climate change. For example, in our class this morning we talked about how, although winter tourism in Canada is suffering, the summer tourism season has been lengthened, especially in the mountainous tourism areas and summer tourism is earning higher profits. It raises the question as to whether it is ethical for the tourism industry to take advantage of these supposed ‘benefits’ of global warming and to try to market problems like the flooding in Venice as a tourism attraction. Is it ethical for our industry to try to counter the negative effects of climate change by exploiting the effects and turning them into attractions?

But now, after reading about authenticity, I’m thinking how, though it may be unethical, perhaps it is authentic to be showing destinations as they are instead of trying to cover up the damage that has been done.  Is it more important to be authentic, or to be ethical?  What do you think?

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