Doomsday tourism on the increase

This year, tourists will be flocking to a French town to celebrate the ‘apocalypse.’

December 21, 2012, marks the end of the world, according to the Mayan calendar. With news spreading that the world is coming to an end, thanks to social media, tourists, revellers and many who are genuinely afraid of the apocalypse, are either planning parties or a safe getaway.

Not to be left out of the surge in interest, the Guatemalan culture ministry has invited musicians to perform in Guatemala – the ancient home of the Mayans. They will celebrate the end of the Mayan calendar with music and revelry. The Guatamalan tourism department has taken a positive outlook and said that the date merely spells the end of an era and the dawn of a new era, hopefully a pleasant one for the whole world.

However, some believe that date spells the end of the world and are taking the threat seriously. It is believed that a small French town called Bugarach, with a population of 176, will be the only place to survive the catastrophe, so people are flocking to the village to ‘escape’ the end of the world. Residents are benefiting from the influx by selling ‘End of the World’ wine and ridiculously overpriced accommodation. They are even offering miracle water that is supposed to protect individuals from the forthcoming crisis.

Cycling tour company, Tour D’Afrique, is offering ‘La Ruta Maya – The Doomsday Ride’, a 2,300km ride across Central America, ending at a historic Mayan temple just in Belize. The tour has been sold out.

Project manager, Michael Coo, said, ‘The appeal, besides the incredible scenery, the camaraderie amongst the riders, the food, the local hospitality, the challenging riding conditions, is, of course, to bike to a Mayan temple to greet the end of the world.’

Guatemalan culture minister, Carlos Batzin, has invited world leaders, thinkers, philosophers and scientists to celebrate the ‘World Summit for Humanity.’ He said, ‘That day marks the conclusion of the Grand Cycle of the Mayan calendar – called 13 B’aktun – and the beginning of a new era of 5,200 years. We are at a turning point, a moment of opportunity, but overall of commitment, so that the natural order that the Mother Earth is going through parallels as human beings, our lives, our civilisations.’