The Phenomenon of Over-Tourism is on the Rise
by Traveleads | March 20, 2019 | Latest News On The Ground
Visitor numbers have been rising steadily for decades, as anyone who lives in a popular tourist city, or who has visited certain beaches or landmarks will vouch.
Currently it is reported that there are around two billion tourist arrivals per year – a figure which is growing at a steady six per cent.
Over-tourism is not a new issue – it is an issue that is becoming more prominent. The term itself was coined in 2012; but did not hit the headlines until the summer of 2017. This was due to the sudden backlash of local residents .There were marches in the streets, graffiti saying “Tourist go home”, and in some cases local authorities responded by increasing fees, refusing to issue permits for more tourist-focused businesses in city centres, and even closing entire islands to visitors. It was these responses which made the news.
Cruise Tourism is one of the largest sources of mass tourists. For many cities, cruise tourists are the primary issue because they arrive in large numbers, flood the streets and leave little money during their short visit.
Many destinations such as Venice have taken measures to tackle over-tourism. The Italian city has set an entry fee in the fight against fast-moving mass tourism and it is apparently only the beginning and could soon expand to other European cities. The important thing is to find a balance between the necessities and needs of locals and visitors of respective destinations.
This issue is not confined to popular holiday destinations abroad, recently a report was also published explaining that Edinburgh was also under tourism strains. Mr Irvine’s comments echo warnings issued two years ago by the Edinburgh World Heritage trust that a collective effort was needed to “understand the capacity limits of our fragile, historic city” and that “commercial exploitation” of the historic environment was threatening its authenticity.
There is no one-size fits all approach for tackling over tourism however the United Nations World Tourism Organisation issued a report that showcases 11 strategies to help popular destination better understand visitor growth and over tourism.
“the most common measures currently being implemented by destinations relate to the dispersal of visitors within the city and beyond, showing the pressing need to manage tourism congestion in certain areas and attractions,” said the UNWTO in a statement.