Will travel industry wake up to the socio-eco issues of overtourism?

Published on : Thursday, August 17, 2017

over tourismOver tourism is the buzzword this summer travel. it became a major global issue and transcended beyond local politics and fell into the grasp of individual segments of the tourism industry. Particular news came out from Venice and Barcelona where the local residents backlashed about the overcrowding from tourists.

 

Skift shared their reportage and here are the four takeaways on this summer of overtourism.

 

For instance Iceland, tourists found this place majorly popular as it was cheap. The expansion of low-cost carriers around Europe has made it simpler as well as cheaper than visiting the other costlier cities. The proliferation of additional cruise ship stops in cities like Venice and Barcelona, as well, have exacerbated the problem. As travel becomes more commoditized, local communities tend to suffer from the consequences as travel companies reap the rewards.

 

City centres and other commonly known attractions call tourists from all across the globe to those particular defined areas. Cities like New York have encouraged tourists to visit neighbourhoods off the beaten path to reduce crowding at the quintessential tourist hotspots. However, this adds to a problem as the new businesses popping up cater more to the need of the tourists rather than the locals. Hotels do not really add any form of value that improves quality of life for residents.

 

Tourism industry, which is one of the largest forms of revenue generating sector does not always act in a responsible manner during periods of growth. The hotel chains, airlines, cruise lines, and room sharing services – all add to create a hostile environment for locals where they proliferate. Tourism is an especially parochial industry, and needs to better incorporate values that don’t perfectly align with its own growth and self-interest.

 

The cities, specially the popular destinations should by now have a distinct plan of action to tackle overtourism. Government-backed tourism boards and travel companies should take a step forward to influence the policy-making in many cases.

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