Published on : Tuesday, March 13, 2018
Europe’s tourism hot spots are looking for new ways to tackle “overtourism,” where cities like Venice, Dubrovnik and Barcelona are struggling to cope up with huge crowds arriving daily on cheap flights and cruise ships.
The cities are taking help of smartphone apps and car-sharing promotions for coping with overcrowding, which has upset the local population and the tourists.
As per the UNWTO data, security concerns in beach destinations in Egypt and Turkey and an increase in cheap flights have propelled growth in international arrivals to countries like Spain and Croatia to more than 10 percent over the past few years.
Dubrovnik Mayor Mato Frankovic said at ITB Berlin, “Overcrowded destinations are successful, but there is a thin line between success and failure.”
But in place of limiting the number of visitors who spend money on hotels, meals and souvenirs, the cities are coming up with new ways to channel tourist flows away from the most popular attractions. Barcelona is working on a joint marketing plan with the region around the city for getting tourists to explore beyond the city’s most famous sites such as the Sagrada Familia church or the Las Ramblas Boulevard.
Even New York City has launched a campaign to encourage tourists to explore the boroughs beyond Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty. It is also trying to lure more visitors during off-peak times in January and February with events such as New York Restaurant Week and Broadway Week.
The booming cruise industry is also one of the biggest challenges for many cities. In Dubrovnik, multiple cruise ships often bring in thousands of passengers daily, making the city’s streets noisy and overcrowded. The city is now trying to curb the arrival of ships spreading it evenly throughout the week so that there won’t be 10 ships coming to port at the same time.
Some travel companies are also playing a vital role in the battle against over tourism.