Surge of global tourism affecting ancient European resorts

Published on : Wednesday, August 2, 2017

DubrovnikSummer visitors are now more interested to roam in the ancient cities around the shores of the Mediterranean and Adriatic Sea. The budget airlines’ routes and the giant cruise ships have more tourists coming in and unloading the ever-growing armies of tourists.


The Croatian city of Dubrovnik, for instance is a perfectly preserved historical miniature, carved from honey-coloured stone set in a sea of postcard blue. With about 1,500 people living within the walls of its Old City, custodians of cultural treasures left by everyone from the Romans and the Ostrogoths to the Venetians and the Habsburgs. On a proper sunny busy day, three modern cruise ships can disgorge five or six times that number of people into the city. They stay in the local hotels and in rooms rented over the internet and have B&B type accommodations.


The overall effect is Disneylandish – a sense that you meet no one but other tourists or ice-cream sellers, tour guides, waiters, reception clerks and buskers who are there to keep the tourist wheels turning.


The HBO mini-series has created a major rise in the tourism drive and has fortified the ancient appeal. The city, unchanged for centuries, provides the main locations for Game of Thrones.


However, it is not Dubrovnik alone struggling to balance its need for tourists’ money ensuring that they don’t end up destroying the beauty they’ve come to see.


The tiny Italian island of Capri has warned that it could “explode” under the pressure of the trade that sees as many as 15,000 visitors a day travelling by boat from the mainland, to visit its once-idyllic streets and squares.


Venice was perhaps to experience this phenomenon first followed by other cities such as Florence, Barcelona and some Greek islands like Santorini.


While the travel experts try to decode why the numbers are increasing, its seen that part of the problem is that travellers from traditional sources like the UK, Germany and the USA are increasingly being joined by the new middle classes of countries like Russia, China and India. Also, tourists feel safer in European destinations than the alternation holiday spots such as Tunisia, Turkey or Egypt.


It is now left to the authorities of the tourism department to think of alternative solution to handle the rising tourism trend in these unspoiled beauties.



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