Never miss a great news story!
Get instant notifications from Economic Times
AllowNot now


You can switch off notifications anytime using browser settings.

Panache

Rome, Goa, Shimla Fall Prey To 'Overtourism'; Here's Where To Go Instead

ET Bureau|
Three's A Crowd
1/11

Three's A Crowd

Did you go all the way to Rome dreaming of taking that perfect selfie at the fountain of Trevi, only to find that the whole world seemed to have the same idea? You are not the only one mobbed by fellow tourists. Even residents in tourist destinations have been complaining that a spurt in arrivals has started destroying their beloved cities, giving rise to the term "overtourism".

Indian cities Nainital, Shimla, Ooty and Goa, among others, have also complained of overtourism.

Here is how some cities are tackling 'overtourism', and a few alternative destinations you might want to consider:

Getty Images
India's Trouble Spots
2/11

India's Trouble Spots

A few Indian towns have also had to battle the scourge of overtourism.

Nainital
With temperatures soaring in Delhi and the plains, people flocked to Nainital (bottom R). The over 4,000 vehicles streaming in daily caused huge traffic jams. Banners were put up to discourage tourists but it did not really help.
Shimla
Rising temperatures in north India meant more visitors seeking refuge in the Himachal capital (bottom L), which was left to deal with choked roads and water shortage.

Ooty
The Queen of the Hills (Top R), as the hill station in the Nilgiris was known, has been seeing a record number of visitors. A plastic ban has been in place for years, and vehicles coming in have to pay a green cess.

Goa
Long the favourite for a beach holiday (Top L), the state has also become a poster-child for overtourism. Locals are unhappy with the increasing numbers of visitors who are littering their beaches and fields, and misbehaving in public places.

Getty Images
Venice
3/11

Venice

The romantic city of canals has now become synonymous with overtourism. Visitors, mostly daytrippers, far outstrip the local population — 30 mn tourists a year descend on the city of around 55,000 residents. The city had 120,000 residents three decades ago but several moved out as the cost of permanent residences shot up and employment opportunities dwindled.

The Response
The city has started a €3 levy on day-trippers, set to go up to €10 next year. It is also limiting the number of visitors at top sites like St Mark’s Basilica.

Alternatives
Annecy (inset) in France - known as the Venice of the French Alps, or the Italian city of Verona, 115 km west of Venice.

ET Bureau
Paris
4/11

Paris

This May, workers in the Louvre walked out, saying overcrowding was making the museum dangerous and unmanageable. Though the French capital has not reached saturation point yet, residents fear it soon will.

The Response
The deputy mayor said tourist buses would soon be banned from the city centre. Residents of Rue Cremieux, a picturesque cobbled street, have been demanding the city install gates to keep out tourists on weekends and evenings.

Alternatives
Montpellier for charm or Reims (inset) for the champagne.

Getty Images
​Barcelona
5/11

​Barcelona

Around 32 mn tourists visit the Catalan capital of 1.6 mn — locals are calling the explosion “el turism de borrachera” or “the drunken party”. And the city can no longer keep up with the visitors flocking to La Rambla, the famous walkway, or the many cruise ships docking at its port.

The Response
Residents have been staging marches since 2017, and protesters have even slashed tyres of tour buses. Segway tours are now banned in the city centre, Airbnb has had to withdraw thousands of listings of unlicensed apartments and there is a moratorium on new hotel licences.

Alternatives
Seville (inset), the cultural capital of the Andalusian region.

Getty Images
Dubrovnik
6/11

Dubrovnik

The huge popularity of HBO’s Game of Thrones has driven the tourist surge to the Croatian city, known as the “Pearl of the Adriatic”. The Old City quarter is a UNESCO world heritage site.

The Response
The mayor is considering limiting the number of visitors to the Old City to 4,000 a day, from 10,000. Docking of cruise ships has been limited to two a day.

Alternatives
Rovinj, also a Croatian fishing port, but far less crowded.

Getty Images
​Amsterdam
7/11

​Amsterdam

In 2017, anti-tourist activists in the city of canals, tulips and cannabis cafes squatted in the apartment building of Booking.com’s CEO, one of the many protests against rising visitor numbers.

The Response
The government is considering doubling hotel room tax and banning souvenir shops in the historical centre. Public drinking and littering in the city’s famed red light district will now attract fines.

Alternatives
Ljubljana (inset), the capital of Slovenia, which also has tulips and waterways.

Getty Images
​Bali
8/11

​Bali

Eat, Pray, Love was to Bali what The Beach was to Maya Bay (top right). A third of the visitors to Indonesia head to the island, causing congestion and water shortage.

The Response
The island was forced to declare a garbage emergency in 2017, after plastic trash piled up on beaches. Tourists may be banned from visiting temples unaccompanied. The government is planning more “Bali-like” destinations in the country.

Alternatives
North and East Bali (inset), over the more popular Seminyak and Ubud.

Getty Images
Maya Bay
9/11

Maya Bay

Ever since the 2000 Leonardo Di Caprio movie, The Beach, revealed Maya Bay’s white sand beaches and brilliant turquoise waters to the world, people have been flocking to the island off Koh Phi Phi in Thailand.

The Response
The once-pristine beaches are full of trash and about 80% of the coral reefs have been destroyed. The Thai government closed the island to tourists in 2018 for an indefinite period.

Alternatives
Islands off the Trang province on Thailand’s southwestern coast.

Getty Images
Rome
10/11

Rome

Venice is not the only city in Italy groaning under the weight of overtourism — the capital, Rome, has been having its own troubles.

The Response
The local government has set some new rules for tourists: no snacking near tourist attractions, no walking around bare-chested or jumping into fountains. Don’t let your lips touch the spout if you’re drinking from a public fountain. Tour buses are not allowed near famous sites.

Alternatives
Padua (inset) for history and culture, Procida for island charm.

Getty Images
​Kyoto
11/11

​Kyoto

Inbound tourism to Japan has been surging and Kyoto, the ancient capital, has been one of its worst sufferers. Local residents are put off not just by numbers but also by tourists’ behaviour — such as harassing geishas or wearing shoes in tatami rooms.

The Response
Residents of some districts have signed a memorandum demanding tourists mind their manners. They have established a “scenery preservation” committee. The government last year launched its first survey on overtourism.

Alternatives
Kanzawa, near the coast, which is known as “Little Kyoto”.


*Sources: The Telegraph, NatGeo, Conde Nast Traveller, Washington Post, Skift, South China Morning Post
.

Getty Images
X
User

Other useful Links


Follow us on


Download et app


Copyright © 2019 Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. All rights reserved. For reprint rights: Times Syndication Service