Dealing with Overtourism

While tourism is good for any economy, when it crosses a certain number of travellers visiting one country, it may cause an inconvenience to the natives of that land. Besides the inconvenience caused to the locals ,it can also place a lot of pressure on the destination’s infrastructure to support the needs of those travellers.
It has been found that more than 1 billion tourists make international trips each year. But very little thought is given to the question that how many tourists a travel destination can really support.
Awareness regarding Overtourism
Should we wait for locals to protest on their streets like the recent protests in Barcelona, Amsterdam and Venice? Shouldn’t we be aware of our responsibilities as tourists to not cause inconvenience to those residing in the country we are only visiting?
It will certainly help to spread awareness about overtourism before countries begin to ban tourists from visiting their landmarks such as the Maya Beach in Thailand or the Lascaux Caves in France.
Dealing with Overtourism
Here are certain measures we can take in order to curb overtourism:
Don’t follow the Crowd
If you’ve ever visited the Lourve Museum in Paris, you would know the struggle you must go through in order to get a clear shot of the famed Mona Lisa.  Or if you’ve been to Venice you would know just how many speed boats cruise the canals each day. As a tourist we crave for those personal moments with the heritage we are visiting. Being elbow to elbow with people may not be our idea of a perfect outing.
Most of us skim through popular travel magazines before we finalise our travel destination. What we forget is that there could be millions across the world accessing similar information. The destinations suggested to us by most people and magazines are undoubtedly hot, but they are also crowded. Why not explore a different city which cannot be found easily on people’s radar?
Off-Peak Travels
Every travel destination has that good time of the year when people are coming in from all parts of the world. While travelling to a popular destination in its season time can be a refreshing experience, you may also have to put with an unusually high number of fellow tourists. Maybe it will make for a more perfect trip if the weather is slightly different from perfect.
You can check with local authorities to know which time of the year sees a lesser crowd. Travelling at these times can be great as the transport will be more accessible and accommodation will be cheaper. It also offers many benefits for the locals which usually need business around this time of the year. Spreading tourism evenly across the year can lift off a tremendous amount of pressure that the infrastructure and people of a country are subjected to during the peak seasons.
Leave no Trace
A picture of an ancient rock bearing our initials makes for a great photograph but it doesn’t fit the etiquettes that a responsible traveller must follow. While in a foreign land there are rules that we must abide by so as to not frustrate the locals. We must respect the local culture and there is no better way to pay our respects than to be a harmless tourist. We must be extra careful about not leaving behind any type of waste, especially plastic. We must also preserve water in regions where water is scarce by not taking long showers or keeping taps in hotel bathrooms running for long.
Ditch the popular areas
A good way to avoid putting up with excess crowd is to choose an accommodation which is family or locally run. These properties can be located away from the iconic landmarks in the city but they can offer great insights into the local culture and ambience. Ditching an internationally renowned hotel to stay with the locals helps the local tourism to grow and benefits the locals greatly.
Research Well
Before visiting a particular country you can look up on Google about the local attractions. There is now a plethora of information just a few taps away on our smartphones. If you are planning a corporatedays out experience for your team, you can browse through the content of travel bloggers. You can learn about off-beat destinations where beauty is still preserved and fewer people visit as these locations offer a much richer travel experience.

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