I understand that much of the overtourism problem was created by bucket lists in the first place. However, what if it is also used as a form of crowd control? Rather than trying to combat the crowds, which in my opinion is a battle you can’t win, work with them. A recent article in the Telegraph – Have tourists ruined the world? highlighted that although these destinations are suffering from overtourism, you can still wander off the beaten path and into peace & quiet.
With new emerging markets the growth of tourism is set to continue. The problems of overtourism are not going to disappear. Therefore, maybe the best form of management is to work with the crowds? Creating well-marked tourist routes is not a new concept. However, apart from total segregation in Venice, I haven’t yet seen set tourist routes in current overtourism solutions – rather than trying to disperse the crowds, keep them well contained. The local population will be able to steer clear of the crowds, destinations will be able to plan more effectively, and the tourists will be able to tick their bucket list efficiently.
Some will say that this is just a form of tourist/host segregation which isn’t what responsible tourism is about. However, many of these tourists are not interested in mixing with the local population. They just want in, tick their list and leave. It’s difficult to change this mindset, so the most responsible way of coping with these tourists is to work with them. Ensure they get what they want, charge them for the pleasure and limit their negative impact.