Mayors from around the world come together for combating mass tourism

 Monday, April 8, 2019 


With important cities struggling to tackle the challenges of mass tourism, mayors from around the world came together in Lisbon and adopted a declaration meant for ensuring the growing sector becomes beneficial for both visitors and locals in the same way.


Mayors and vice-mayors from 16 cities including Lisbon, Barcelona, Paris, Sao Paulo and Seoul vowed to place sustainability at the center of the tourism industry by using new technologies to build “cities for all”.


The declaration comes at a time when low-cost airlines have created tourism booms in many leading cities; however, it is also at the same time when locals have been driven out because of increasing house prices due to short-term rentals. To quote Zurab Pololikashvili, the Secretary General of the UNWTO, “We truly believe innovation can lead to many solutions to problematic issues in urban tourism development.”


“Lisbon needs to have a strong economy and tourism is part of that but we also need quality of life, public services adapted to a growing number of visitors and we need a city where there is access to fundamental rights, including housing,” said Lisbon’s Mayor Fernando Medina.


Mr. Medina accepted the fact that there is a link between housing costs and tourism, and said that property renting platforms put some pressure on cities.
He said that the city council, along with the the government, is working on regulations to control the phenomenon, which especially affects historical areas. “We don’t want to lose the diversity of our historical neighbourhoods,” Mr. Medina said.

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