FOCUS: The art of vacationing: SCHS discusses what makes destinations irresistible

Taking trips to destinations such as the Bahamas and Hawaii have gained vast popularity over the years for their attractions, environment and appeal. With summer approaching, students who have visited popular travel and tourist destinations discussed what interested them while traveling and why they believe certain destinations are popular among tourists.

Many students’ interest in traveling began with various destinations’ attractions and what added desirability to those destinations. Freshman Hanna Jarota explained how a destination becomes more attractive when one can experience new cultures and leave their comfort zone.

“Somewhere where you get to experience a different culture apart from your own makes it more attractive and interesting, and somewhere where you get to meet and interact with people that you wouldn’t have met wherever you’re from,” Jarota said.

Freshman Quinn Raineri feels that vacationing to a place where one is given a calming space and a tranquil environment is the most enjoyable.

“(A good tourist attraction is) somewhere where I can relax and just have my own space and not worry about others” Raineri said.

Some travelers specifically seek out locations with established infrastructures for tourism. Doing so can make a trip less stressful, as individuals can fully unwind without worrying about the minute details.

Chemistry teacher Daniel Lehnert believes that the presence of infrastructure for tourists is important to consider when choosing a destination.

“There’s also just touristy places that make travel kind of feel like a safe bet, where you’re not risking it all,” Lehnert said. “If lots of people visit it, they know the infrastructure for travelers and visitors are there, and you kind of know what you’re gonna get out of it. It makes it easier.”

Many believe that social media has also become a large contributor to various destinations’ immense growth in popularity. According to CNBC, virtually one in three travelers are persuaded by social media to travel to certain locations.

Freshman Alyssa Horne discussed how social media trends and content have helped increase tourism in certain areas.

“I think what makes a destination popular is certain trends or stuff you see online that encourages other people to travel there,” Horne said.

Jarota feels that social media has good and bad tendencies when advising people on where to travel. It can benefit people by exposing them to new places and potential experiences, but it often only illustrates the good parts of a destination.

“It (social media) also can romanticize places you might not want to travel to, not give you a full explanation and not fully prepare you,” Jarota said.

Social media has also had an opposing effect on locations that are deemed controversial. Senior Mateo Moyoli observed that the natural beauty and picturesque nature of Russia was denigrated on social media platforms.

“Russia is a beautiful country, but there’s a lot going on there right now,’ Moyoli said.

Raineri expressed that social media is not the only reason destinations are gaining popularity, noting that destinations often become popular places people visit frequently and repeatedly because of their ability to create emotional connections and sentimental feelings.

Moyoli has traveled to Spain four times and is arranging another trip this summer. Despite traveling to the same region numerous times, he said each of his trips are full of new and unique experiences.

“There’s always something to do and new experiences to have, new restaurants to go to. It’s really fun,” Moyoli said. “After I went a few times, I started learning the language… I love the culture. I love how they take a nap in the middle of the day, stay up late and party.”

Many tourists find destinations popular due to their experiences, the connections they make, the lasting impact they provide and many more elements. Jarota believes that the stories one tells of their travels act as the biggest influence upon tourists and travelers and are what encourage people most to plan their next trip.

“I think when people tell stories of their experience in a certain place and what they did there, it makes you more interested, and you want to experience similar things,” Jarota said.

Alongside stories and recollections, the atmosphere of a location also attracts visitors. Lehnert has traveled to countries on nearly every continent. One of the most captivating experiences he had while traveling was merely walking down the street.

“Entering the city and seeing kind of just what a city feels like to walk through is a big part of what is memorable to me about a location,” Lehnart said. ”I have a few goals whenever I go somewhere new and that’s learn about the music, learn about the food, learn about how their history plays into everyday life… A lot of the time for me in major cities, you can hear elements of that pretty easily just on the street.”