Web Bytes – the bane of tourism

From the Web

Globally, in 2018, there were a record 1.4 billion international tourist arrivals, according to the World Tourism Organization (UNTWO), a rise of 6% over 2017. And every year the number increases.

Most tourists, equipped with smartphones for that ultimate photo shoot to post on social media, are completely unaware what impact their locust-like invasion has on the local population, the environment and wildlife. The media lately has been quick to point the finger.

Austrian town of 800 people that gets a million tourists a year

This is Halstatt in the Austrian Alps – a World Heritage Site that’s so picturesque, tourists can’t stay away. But while it’s boosted the town’s economy, not all of the residents are happy.

31 July 2019 on bbc.com

Tropical bay shown in movie ‘The Beach’ to close until 2021

The number of daily visitors jumped from 170 in 2008 to 3,500 in 2017. Before it was closed, up to 5,000 people were visiting the bay every day and most of its coral died as a result.

It was decided to extend the closure of world-famous Maya Bay for another two years. It is now due to reopen in the middle of 2021. The decision was made after a trial closure that began on June 1 last year resulted in ecological recovery.

Apinya Wipatayotin – 9 May 2019 in bangkokpost.com

Venice bans large cruise ships from historic centre

The move follows an accident in June in which a ship collided with a dock, injuring five people. Critics have long said waves created by cruise ships on the canal erode the foundations of the city, which regularly suffers from flooding. Others have also complained that they detract from the beauty of Venice’s historic sites and bring in too many tourists.

11 August 2019 on bbc.com

Tourist’s selfie craze clashes with thirsty elephants

A jeep full of tourists had stopped in the jungle in the Pawalgarh range of Ramnagar forest division when they saw a herd of elephants. They started taking selfies and clicking photographs.

Disturbed at this, the herd after reportedly waiting for more than half-an-hour for the tourists to make way, turned back instead of going to the water source where it was headed to quench its thirst.

Vineet Upadhyay – 10 June 2019 in indiatimes.com

Mount Everest ‘traffic jams’ block path to summit

Risking death in adventure tourism, hundreds of foreigners and their sherpa guides were taking advantage of clear weather to attempt to summit Mount Everest from both Nepal and China in May, but teams had to line up for hours to reach the top — risking frostbite and altitude sickness; at least ten climbers died. Climbers have expressed concerns of overcrowding on the world’s highest mountain.  At least 140 others have been granted permits to scale Everest from the northern flank in Tibet

AFP – 25 May 2019 in japantimes.com

Locals ‘kicked out of their homes for holiday lets’

Major cities in Europe are warning about the growing number of property developers buying up residential apartment blocks to let them to tourists on Airbnb; ten of the cities are asking the EU for help.

The website started as a way for people to rent out their spare rooms but several local governments say an increase in professionals using the site is forcing residents from their neighbourhoods.

Filmed and edited by Andy Smythe.

Jean Mackenzie – 9 August 2019 on bbc.com

Barcelona is threatening to shut out tourists

BarcelonaBarcelona’s controversial mayor Ada Colau pledged this week to reduce the number of tourists allowed into Barcelona by cutting cruise ships and limiting the expansion of its airport. It’s part of an ongoing battle against perceived overtourism and the balance between keeping communities financially alive without destroying their fabric.

Barcelona is the self-styled capital city of the Mediterranean and a victim of its own success. As the Guardian reported in 2016, the number of visitors making overnight stays in the city increased from 1.7 million in 1990 to more than 8 million in 16 years.

That’s an astonishing increase for a city that is not as big as other European equivalents, such as Paris or London, and where many of the major tourist sites such as Sagrada Familia and Parc Güell are in residential areas where space to expand simply doesn’t exist…

Alex Ledsom – 12 July 2019 on forbes.com

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