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Tourism & Real Estate

Tourism fuels some of the biggest development worldwide. Cruise ship operators are under fire for dumping waste in the oceans and exhaust into the skies; ski resorts an golf courses scar the land and pollute waterways. Tourism is a multibillion-dollar industry that frequently puts luxury ahead of the environment, respect for indigenous cultures, and sensitivity to land use issues.

Real estate, some of it fueled by tourism, but also by the expansion of business, runs up against many of the other issues we cover - water use, land use, and the use of political influence to muscle into desirable locations, often with tax-breaks as a bonus. With real-estate the latest boom (or perhaps more appropriately "bubble") industry, issues associated with development - such as suburban sprawl - have become more immediate.

News Articles

Iraq: Introducing DisneyIraq: The Unhappiest Place on Earth
by Scott ThillAlterNet
August 15th, 2008
An American financier is pitching a vast theme park in Baghdad, not out of kindness, but as he says, "for profit."

US: Art Auctions on Cruise Ships Lead to Anger, Accusations and Lawsuits
by JORI FINKELThe New York Times
July 16th, 2008
While overcharging for a product is not in itself illegal, misrepresenting the goods sold can be. The plaintiffs’ central argument hinges on Park West’s description of its appraisals.

GLOBAL: Slum Visits: Tourism or Voyeurism?
by ERIC WEINERThe New York Times
March 9th, 2008
Slum tourism, or “poorism,” as some call it, is catching on.

US: Holes in the Wall
by Melissa del BosqueThe Texas Observer
February 18th, 2008
As the U.S. Department of Homeland Security marches down the Texas border serving condemnation lawsuits to frightened landowners, Brownsville resident Eloisa Tamez, 72, has one simple question. She would like to know why her land is being targeted for destruction by a border wall, while a nearby golf course and resort remain untouched.

US: Inuit sue US government over BP land usage
by David LitterickThe Daily Telegraph (UK)
November 20th, 2006
Fresh from settling a lawsuit over last year's fatal explosion at its Texas City oil refinery, BP looks set to become embroiled in a legal battle in Alaska over royalties paid on oil production in Prudhoe Bay.