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World hits its Overtourism Tipping Point

Published: 3rd May, 2024

Context

Venice has responded to overtourism by implementing a 5€ fee for day trippers visiting the city, addressing the widespread issue exacerbated by the global pandemic.

1: Dimension- Impact of Overtourism

  • Overtourism arises when destinations face an overwhelming influx of tourists, leading to adverse effects on the environment, infrastructure, and local communities.
  • India is ranked 10th among 185 countries in terms of travel & tourism’s total contribution to GDP in 2019.  However, it also brings social, economic, and environmental consequences.
  • Challenges include disenchanted locals, degraded tourist experiences, strained infrastructure, and cultural threats.
  • Social impact: It can cause difficulties for the locals as mentioned above overtourism affects their quality of life.
  • Economic issue: Overcrowding results in congested public spaces, increased real estate prices, reduced residents' purchasing power.
  • Environmental issue: Depletion of local natural resources and species as well as pollution and waste problems. Tourism contributes to more than 5 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, with transportation accounting for 90 percent of this.

Addressing Overtourism

  • Tourism de-growthhas long been posited as a remedy to overtourism.
  • De-marketing destinations has been applied with varying degrees of success.
  • Introducing entry fees and gates to over-tourist places like Venice is another deterrent.  

Fact Box: Measures taken by other countries to protect tourist spots

  • Italy banned cruise ships from entering Venice as waves generated by them were causing irreparable damage to the foundations of the flood-prone city.
  • Amsterdam and Barcelona have banned new hotel developments in their respective city centres to fight back over-tourism.
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