Published on : Tuesday, December 19, 2017
Travel is a major global industry, but in 2017 it attracted exceptional resentment and vengeance towards tourists. A growing global backlash against tourism extended from tropical rain forests to urban destinations like Rio de Janeiro and Venice.
Mass tourism is not always better. Increasing the number of visitors has generated profits for travel companies, particularly the cruise ship industry; however, it has not always benefited local communities and environments where tourism occurs.
Once people know of the ways in which their trips impact local people and places, it becomes easy to ensure that their travel has more positive consequences for the destinations they visit.
Travel is often portrayed as a tool for personal growth and tourism an economic engine for destination countries and cities. There is a tendency to assume that tourism is good for everyone involved. However, it is not always the case.
Today tourism drives more than 1.2 billion tourists across international borders each year, generating 9 percent of global GDP and providing one out of every 11 jobs on earth. But many popular places are literally being reeling under pressures of mass tourism. Recent protests in popular destinations like Venice and Barcelona against disturbances created by larger and more numerous cruise ships show the unfortunate consequences of emphasizing quantity over quality in tourism.
Unabated tourism development has become a primary driver of social and environmental disruption. Antagonism toward tourists typically develops in mature, heavily visited destinations. In Barcelona, for example, growing resentment of neighborhood gentrification, elevated real estate and rental prices, and erosion of local social networks has led some residents to call tourism the city’s biggest problem and label tourists as “terrorists.”