4 Destinations Affected By Mass Tourism That Travelers Need To Know


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Mass tourism is now a serious problem influence four of the world’s top travel destinations. While some cities see the influx of dollars as a good thing, especially after two years of Covid, others are concerned that over-development, and particularly the crowds that come with it, will undermine their reputation as authentic, culturally-relevant sites.

Crowded beach in Makarska, Croatia over tourism concept

Numerous countries that had turned travelers away because of Covid are now welcoming them back, although the freedom does not come without a cost: since they reopened, travel demand has soared to unprecedented heights and millions and millions of travelers are on the move en masse to these four hotspots, overwhelms local operators and even disrupts the lives of locals.

In this article you will learn more about these “over-touristy” cities and what authorities are doing about it:

Dubrovnik, Croatia

Group of tourists taking photos and showing tourism at the viewpoint over Dubrovnik, Croatia

Overtourism wasn’t really Croatia’s biggest concern until the last decade, when the Balkan coastal nation became a widely advertised summer destination – most obviously through the provision of Backdrop for HBO’s game of Thrones. Formerly it was most commonly known by the old name Republic of Ragusa.

Now, millions of tourists throng every narrow alley hoping to fantasize about “King’s Landing,” the royal fictional city featured in the TV show. In the past, those who traveled to southern Dalmatia, which used to be the most difficult province to reach due to territorial disputes with neighboring states, were mainly interested in history.

Young female tourist looking out over the medieval citadel of Dubrovnik, Croatia, Adriatic Coast

After all, Dubrovnik (originally Ragusa) was a major trading power in the Adriatic and wider Mediterranean, developing strong ties with the Venetians over centuries and being a strong Christian outpost in Eastern Europe in the face of a looming Ottoman threat. Nowadays, Historians fear it may have become a medieval Disneyland.

Back in 2016, UNESCO issued a stark warning to Dubrovnik, urging the City Council to either curb visitor numbers or lose its status as a World Heritage Site. Since 2019, the number of tourists inside the walls has been falling Do not exceed 4,000 per dayand surveillance cameras were installed to control entry and exit.

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Dubrovnik, Croatia

Additionally, Dubrovnik has started cracking down on Airbnb rentalswhich the locals themselves blame for rising rental costs and driving them out of the old town – after all, the majority of visitors hope to stay in the fortifications, and the Mass reconstruction of traditional Dalmatian houses in tourist accommodation is strongly opposed by locals.

If you are dreaming of a vacation in Dubrovnik and/or South Dalmatia, the southernmost tip of Croatia, We advise you to travel sustainably. This means booking accommodation through certified providers, opting for a longer stay rather than just visiting for a day, making a minimal contribution to the local economy and avoiding the peak travel season.

Barcelona, ​​Spain

Barcelona beach, ​​Catalonia, Spain on tourism

As a European gem that has historically struggled with mass tourism, Barcelona is not only unhappy with the number of visitors it gets, it is actively fighting to expel them somehow – even if it means an open clash with Spain’s Supreme Court. That’s right: Gaudí’s heartland will do everything in his power restrict tourism.

We understand why travelers want to make Catalonia’s capital their holiday destination: it has all the perks of being in Europe, including an incredibly well-preserved medieval Latin Quarter, yet is just as famous for a modern seafront promenade, beaches and vibrant nightlife. Both history buffs and beachgoers love it.

Colorful Wall And Art Sculpture By Gaudi Close Up In Barcelona, ​​Catalonia, Spain

On the other hand, in a year Barcelona receives as many tourists as a large country like Mexico. Pre-Covid, it hit an all-time high of 32 million visitors, prompting the Catalan government to severely limit short-term rentals of private rooms, including Airbnb, or urgently discourage homeowners from renting their own properties.

In fact, in 2021 the city banned all short-term rentals for less than a month, although that controversial decision was quickly overturned by Spain’s Supreme Court. even then Barcelona refuse to go under without a fight and joined 22 other European cities in demanding that the EU enact stricter regulations for vacation rentals.

Venice, Italy

View of the Rialto Bridge and the Grand Canal in Venice, Italy

Venice is a must-do destination for millions. Every year, cruise guests and day-trippers flock to the charming canals and arched bridges in hopes of snapping the perfect Instagram picture or gaining a glimpse of the former republic’s glorious past as a major Mediterranean power. Of course, here are some of the most important sights in Italy:

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Venice is home to St. Mark’s Tower, the famous Bridge of Sighs, Rialto Bridge, St. Mark’s Square, the small island community of Burano with its own leaning bell tower, and many others. Unfortunately, Mass tourism is no longer sustainable for such an old city and architecturally unique like Venice.

Crowd in front of the Doge's Palace, Venice, Italy on tourism

Perhaps due to his vulnerable position, it has opted for the toughest measure on the table: Venice turns into an attraction and Start load entry for non-residents. From January 2023, those wishing to take gondola rides on the Grand Canal or sample Venetian cuisine for a day must book their visit in advance and pay a fee.

The controversial move follows a previously introduced ban on large cruise ships, which have been barred from entering the canals since 2021 and must instead dock at a nearby industrial port. Italy as a whole is committed to crowd reductionwith cities like Rome and Florence levying visitor taxes and the Amalfi Coast adopting an alternative car number plate system.

Bali, Indonesia

Tourists watch the traditional Balinese Kecak dance at Uluwatu Temple in Bali, Indonesia

Bali is the most popular province in Indonesia and it’s not hard to see why. It’s an area dotted with volcanoes and terraced rice paddies as far as the eye can see that has recently become a trendy party hub for backpackers and youngsters. Whether wellness/nature or nightlife, Bali is the place to be.

It’s one of the few destinations in the world where both worlds coexist peacefully and different traveler profiles walk side by side, but this versatility has led to congestion and attractions being overrun by tourists. Interestingly, unlike in Europe, Public reaction to the phenomenon has been mixed.

Aerial view of a Hilton hotel resort on the beach, Bali, Indonesia

Yes, locals may miss the calm they’ve experienced during the lockdown months, but they certainly appreciate putting dollars in their pockets. As for the Indonesian government, it may be the only authority on this list that is not actively involved in mass tourism, as no tangible effort was made to handle the crowds.

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Earlier this year, the tourism minister unveiled plans to promote Bali as a “serenity, spirituality and sustainability” destination, as opposed to a purely beach hotspot. The focus of this campaign was on the less-visited areas of Bali, particularly in the north and west, but they don’t seem to have been as successful Tourism is still concentrated in the already developed south.

Backpacker stares at Wat Pho temple in Indonesia, Southeast Asia

In total, the Nusa Islands, which belong to the province of Bali, now welcome between 1,000 and 1,500 visitors every day extremely high number considering Indonesia was closed to the outside world during the pandemic. Mass tourism has also been noted on the tourist route between Kuta and Ubud and of course from Nusa Penida to Seminyak.

For more information on Overtourism and other destinations affected, follow this link.

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This article originally appeared on Travel Off Path. For the latest news related to your next trip, please visit: Traveloffpath.com

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