Recently came across an interesting footnote about tourism (specifically about Americans being tourists in small-town or rural America) in David Foster Wallace's article about lobster (PDF):
As I see it, it probably really is good for the soul to be a tourist, even if it’s only once in a while. Not good for the soul in a refreshing or enlivening way, though, but rather in a grim, steely-eyed, let’s-look-honestly-at-the-facts-and-find-some-way-to-deal-with-them way. [...] To be a mass tourist, for me, is to become a pure late-date American: alien, ignorant, greedy for something you cannot ever have, disappointed in a way you can never admit. It is to spoil, by way of sheer ontology, the very unspoiledness you are there to experience. It is to impose yourself on places that in all noneconomic ways would be better, realer, without you. It is, in lines and gridlock and transaction after transaction, to confront a dimension of yourself that is as inescapable as it is painful: As a tourist, you become economically significant but existentially loathsome, an insect on a dead thing.
I don't necessarily fully agree with that statement or its implications, but I thought it was interesting and well-written, and I wanted to save it for later reference.
(The main body of the lobster article itself is interesting too; the second half of it is an excellent discussion, from the point of view of someone who I gather had not considered these matters much before, of the moral issues involved in boiling lobsters alive, and (by extension) in killing and eating animals in general.)