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Explosive Spring to Doom Summer Tourism?

I’m usually not one to say “I tried to warn you” or “I told you so.” Mainly because usually I don’t express my theories or predictions publicly.

However, at the beginning of April I wrote “April,  Saturn, & Mercury Retrograde: Something Wicked This Way Comes.” It sure provoked a lot of response. Some of you left comments on the post, some Twittered me, a couple sent emails, and there might have even been a HJ Facebook page comment or two.

The optimists wanted to point out all the good things they knew that happened in April, such as birthdays and anniversaries. A couple took note of my observations and were willing to consider my theory. But the majority felt I was off my rocker.

Was I? Here’s a list of the events that happened in the last month:

  1. April 5: Coal mine explosion in West Virginia kills 29.
  2. April 10: Plane crash in Russia kills 97, including Poland’s president and other top dignitaries. (Which, ironically lead me to find another April tragedy. The plane crashed not far from the site of the Katyn Forest Massacre, which was a mass murder of approximately 22,000 Polish nationals by the Soviet secret police part of the NKVD in April-May of 1940. Poland’s president was actually traveling to partake in a commemorative ceremony of the event.)
  3. April 16: Icelandic volcano explosion strands thousands of passengers for days when flights in Europe are grounded.
  4. April 20: Explosion on offshore drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico kills 11.
  5. May 1-2: Torrential downpours flood Middle Tennessee and Kentucky, killing dozens and leaving hundreds more without homes.

April’s over so at least part of the nasty astrological mayhem-causing trifecta is out of the equation. Mercury Retrograde is set to end on May 11. That’ll help things. Then Saturn will be moving into a new trajectory come July 21.

However, things aren’t going to mellow until this unholy union fully dissolves. Here’s how travel and tourism will be affected by:

The Icelandic Volcano

I just read a story on the Orlando Sentinel about how ash from the Icelandic volcano is affecting flights again. According to the article, a 1,200 mile-long cloud of ash from Greenland to Spain is to blame. Many flights are being rerouted to avoid it, but some flights have been canceled.

Until that volcano quiets down again this could continue to happen. Makes traveling overseas even more interesting I guess. (I recommend packing a couple spare pairs of clean undies in your carry-on just in case.)

The Gulf Oil Spill

Then there’s the oil spill in the Gulf. It’s being conjectured to perhaps rival the Exxon Valdez disaster, if not top it. Which bodes very, very badly for all the beautiful beaches from Louisiana to Florida that normally thrive on tourism in the summer months. In every way possible that oil spill could be ruinous, from ecological and environmental considerations to tourism.

Nashville Flooding

And then there’s how the flood will impact a place I’m getting a first hand view of: Tennessee. One of our major tourist areas, Opryland (which comprises the Gaylord Opryland Hotel, the Grand Ole Opry, and Opry Mills mall) is out of commission for months (maybe as many as six) until restorations can be made.

Downtown and LP Field, where not only the Titans play but which is a major venue for the CMA Music Festival (a.k.a Fan Fair, it’s first and still more commonly used name) that takes place every June, was hard hit. I checked the CMA’s site today, though. No mention of relocating it elsewhere so I guess they feel they’ll have the stadium back in shape by then.

Oh, but something I feel it’s important to note because it’s proof positive of the resilient spirit here in the Volunteer State: the Grand Ole Opryhouse may be out of commission right now, but the show isn’t. It hasn’t missed a beat in its 80+ years, and what happened due to the flood was no exception.

Last Tuesday night, just two days after flood waters swamped their stage, instead of canceling their regularly scheduled show they packed up and found a new venue to perform at. (Even though many of the musicians and stagehands personally had been effected by the floods.) They’ll be rotating to different venues around town until the Grand Ole Opry has what I bet will be a grand ole reopening.

Courtney Mroch
Courtney Mroch, otherwise known as HJ's Ambassador of Dark and Paranormal Tourism, is an author, traveler, and ghost enthusiast. When she's not writing, jaunting, or planning her next trip, it's a safe bet you'll find her in one of three places: on a tennis court somewhere, on a yoga mat somewhere, or watching a horror movie somewhere. She currently resides in Nashville, Tennessee.

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3 thoughts on “Explosive Spring to Doom Summer Tourism?

  1. Even with all that, I have to say that the biggest threat to tourism trade is the airlines. I seriously am avoiding flying at all costs! It’s so miserable, I’d rather sleep in a tiny berth in the bottom of the Titanic than to fly in a plane. I’m a 5’8″ woman–the fit has never been good, but the crowding now, the incredible lines to be checked in, all the rules about what you can and can’t have, all the fees being tacked on, being stuck on tarmacs, getting in and out of airports…Trips are just too stressful when flown. So, I think that’s the real culprit. Should someone come up with an airline that has its own terminal, its own checkin, its own car service to your home, and all the seats have tons of leg room, I’d pay double the amount to fly that way…

  2. Your explanation is much more cheery than mine, Courtney. I like your explanation for these many disasters. It gives them meaning and marks them as transient. I hope you are right!

  3. I am about 7″ shorter than you, Autumnforest so I’m not usually too inconvenienced by the seating on planes. But my 6’2″ husband is and tries his darndest to always get an aisle. (Which that kind of sucks for me because that means I’m in a middle seat if it’s a 3 seater row. Good thing I’m so short!) But the hassle of arriving early, waiting, delays, the rules, and sometimes the fees (we try to travel Southwest to avoid the baggage check-in fees if we can)…it’s a big ol’ hassle, uh huh! I don’t blame you for not wanting to fly.

    Jessica…aw thanks. I hadn’t even realized I’d done that. I appreciate you sharing your POV like that. =)

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