Globalisation and the Changing Face of Travel

Il MacOnce upon a time, you arrived at your travel destination, switched on the television in your hotel room as you unpacked and were greeted with a variety of programs and advertisements that defined the host country’s culture.

And once upon a time not long ago, you drove along the roads of France and did not see an assortment of McDo signs telling you it was 25 kilometres to the town of Cognac. You did not trip over an avalanche of Starbucks franchises in central London all within a small radius of one another. You did not travel to the Middle East and visit one of Dubai’s grandiose malls only to shrug it off as a glorified Westfield shopping centre. And you most certainly did not return home with that unusual and carefully selected purchase only to find it has become an everyday item in your home country.

Now, you are entertained with the same familiar reality TV shows you avoid back home. You identify the same – albeit dubbed – advertising jingles and the same inane tunes on popular music channel. Television, that old barometer by which you previously caught an insight into a country’s culture is nothing but a reminder of what lives on your television set back home.

So you venture outside and peruse the latest in Italian footwear worn by fashionistas and realise that Ugg boots have become ubiquitous in every Italian town you have visited. You sneer at the sight of the ever so popular Converse shoes that are de rigueur on Parisian boulevards. You visit a supermarket in Dubai and realise that it belongs to the Carrefour chain. You see the latest best seller novels translated into a local language at Galeries Lafayette. You notice that the French music section has been tucked away at the back of the Virgin Mégastore at Carrousel du Louvre in Paris.

Globalisation with its supposed advantages has slowly changed the face of travel. Your snubbed compatriots may boast the benefits of a universal language but you quietly yearn for that awkward moment when you first attempt conversation in a language other than your own or order a local speciality from a street vendor.

So in a moment of lucid contemplation, as you gaze at the elegant swans gliding on the tranquil waters of Lake Como,  you are left to ponder how much globalisation erodes a country’s identity.

* Photo of Il Mac burger taken at the food outlet inside Venezia Mestre train station


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About the author

Corinne Mossati

Corinne Mossati is the Founder/Editor of popular online magazine Gourmantic and Cocktails & Bars, a website dedicated to cocktail culture and the discerning drinker. She is named in Australian Bartender Magazine’s Top 100 Most Influential List since 2013, is a member of The Academy responsible for judging the World’s 50 Best Bars. She has also judged the inaugural Australasian Whisky Awards and various national cocktail competitions.


  • Well written piece. The change has been slow and steady for sure. Makes you think of a homogeneous future of travel.

  • A topical and sad truth…a byproduct of capitalism and the faceless ‘shareholders’ pursuit of profit. With it comes the ‘grass is always greener’ effect, the fragmentation of society, values and greater generation gaps.  I love local travel and have started a website to help people find accommodation through their interests.  Long life the local culture! I’ve referenced this article in my post – The Local Travel Movement at: Cheers, Pete

    • Peter, it is rather sad, and when the realisation hits that the grass isn’t that green, there will be no going back. Thank you for the link and my best for your travel site.