Overtourism occurs when the balance between the negatives of tourism outweighs the benefits.
Large numbers of tourists can upset the local residents, especially if the positives created by a tourism boom doesn’t trickle down but instead leaks out of the country. As destination popularity rises so can the cost of accommodations. Furthermore, the noise disrupts normal life, and places are trampled by high numbers of visitors.
But, don’t forget, overtourism doesn’t just infect the local population, the tourist also experiences the symptoms of long queues, angry locals, strict restrictions and large crowds.
So why has this occurred all in the summer of 2017? Well, the signs have been around for a while and in places as high as Everest and as far East as the great wall of China. But, this summer the conditions have been just about perfect for the overtourism problems to hit a new high in Europe.
Here are the ten conditions which have led to this epidemic.
Responsible Travel recently reviewed and removed all holidays that visited zoos. The overriding consensus is that ‘animals should not be held in captivity unless there are for good reasons‘. With evidence of abnormal and stereotypic behaviours being shown by many animals in captivity Responsible Travel has decided that it is inhumane to keep animals in unnatural environments. Some of the worrying behaviours exhibited by captive animals can be seen here. Continue reading
According to Skift ‘the new luxury is defined by small brands with big stories’ and I couldn’t agree more! Skift’s megatrends of 2017 have touched on something amazing for responsible tourism. Stories are essential to selling responsible tourism and the industry is full to the brim of anecdotes just waiting to be told. Continue reading
So the UN has declared 2017 the year of sustainable tourism for development. Tourism is responsible for 10% of the world’s GDP and has huge developmental potential for countries with limited exports but are rich in cultural and environmental experiences. 2015 saw 1.2 billion international travellers, it is time to take this growth seriously, ensuring it has positive rather than negative impacts.
Peoples ethical spending has always been of great interest. After meeting a particular customer I wondered if sustainability was finally becoming part of consumerism… Could it be possible that people are beginning to think of ethics first?
The customers very first question was;
‘I am looking for a responsible holiday where I can make a positive impact on Namibia, how does Responsible Travel’s holidays provide this?‘.
Sustainability and social consciousness has suddenly been given a competitive advantage. So perhaps it is time for businesses to move fluffy, tokenism charity work into real business practices?
Many may say the responsible tourist looks for ethics, social consciousness and supporting the local population economically. But really the bottom line is EXPERIENCE. Working in responsible tourism I occasionally get asked about the political, social and economic benefits of the holiday but this always comes second. So what does a responsible tourist look for? What are the most common questions? Here are a few of my regulars…
93% of corals have been impacted by abnormally warm waters. Coral bleaching has spread around the globe, devastating reef mortality and resulting in a sense of urgency amongst some tourists. A feeling of ‘I have to get there before its too late!’ is sweeping across many travellers. This has created a form of tourism that I have come to loathe the most, ‘last-chance Tourism’. It suggests a feeling of hopelessness, that we are too late and nothing can be done. Conservation soon gets replaced by an acceptance of demise and we extract as much as we can before it disappears. This needs to change and fast!