People go to new places to explore charming villages, unspoiled beaches, and ancient architecture, all of which are threatened by overcrowding. The question is how do you deal with tourism’s dark side when it creates millions of jobs and is the main source of revenue for some places.
Some cities are victims of their own hard work to make them popular and loved by tourists. Summer after summer, local governments are imposing or proposing new rules to restrict the number of visitors.
The bad news is that it will eventually have to be done. Otherwise, in just one year, the 20 most visited countries will add more international arrivals than the rest of the world combined. There are similar disparities in individual cities and specific tourist sites.
Hosting more tourists than a city can handle harms the environment and puts a lot of pressure on local residents and infrastructure. This is in addition to problems commercialization causes such as changes in landscape and skyrocketing housing prices.
Residents and officials are pressured to choose whether the economy, safety, culture, or heritage is more important. Even though in some cities threats to limit visits are just talk, they reflect a growing public opinion.
This is a global problem and solutions are being discussed at the international level. These include quotas, promoting alternative attractions, limiting hotel growth, and charging fees for previously free attractions.
To identify places that are no longer very welcoming to tourists, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed dozens of tourist guides and news articles about those that have imposed or proposed restrictions on visitors.