What is over tourism? Due to which these tourist spots are getting destroyed
What is over tourism? Due to which these tourist spots are getting destroyed

Overtourism refers to the excessive number of tourists visiting a destination, overwhelming its infrastructure, environment, and local population. This phenomenon results in a diminished experience for visitors and significant negative impacts on the area.

History of Overtourism

Overtourism is not a new issue. It dates back to ancient times when pilgrimage sites were overwhelmed by visitors. However, the modern form has intensified with the rise of affordable travel, social media, and global tourism.

Causes of Overtourism

Cheap Travel Options

The advent of budget airlines, cheap accommodation, and travel packages has made traveling more accessible than ever. This affordability leads to an influx of tourists in popular destinations.

Social Media Influence

Social media platforms play a significant role in promoting travel. Influencers and travel bloggers often highlight picturesque locations, causing a surge of interest and subsequent overcrowding.

Lack of Regulations

Many tourist destinations lack strict regulations to control the number of visitors. This absence of management leads to overcapacity and strain on local resources.

Impact of Overtourism on Tourist Spots

Environmental Degradation

Popular tourist spots suffer from environmental damage due to overtourism. Natural landscapes, wildlife habitats, and ecosystems are disrupted by the sheer volume of visitors.

Examples of Environmental Impact

  • Coral Reefs: Snorkeling and diving in popular reef areas like the Great Barrier Reef have led to coral bleaching and destruction.
  • National Parks: Overcrowding in places like Yosemite and Yellowstone causes soil erosion, littering, and damage to plant life.

Infrastructure Strain

Overtourism puts immense pressure on local infrastructure, including transportation, accommodation, and public services. Cities like Venice and Barcelona struggle to cope with the influx of tourists, leading to overcrowded streets and public transport.

Cultural Erosion

Local cultures can be diluted or commodified due to overtourism. Traditional customs and lifestyles may be altered to cater to tourists, leading to a loss of authenticity.

Cultural Impact Examples

  • Venice: The city’s unique culture is being overshadowed by the tourism industry, with locals moving out due to high living costs.
  • Bali: Traditional ceremonies and practices are often commercialized to entertain tourists, eroding the cultural heritage.

Famous Tourist Spots Affected by Overtourism

Venice, Italy

Venice faces severe challenges from overtourism. The influx of cruise ships and daily visitors threatens the city’s architecture and environment.

Machu Picchu, Peru

Machu Picchu has seen a dramatic increase in tourists, leading to concerns about preserving the ancient ruins. The site’s fragile ecosystem is at risk from the constant foot traffic.

Santorini, Greece

Santorini struggles with the massive number of tourists arriving daily, leading to congestion and strain on local resources. The island’s infrastructure is not equipped to handle such volumes.

Dubrovnik, Croatia

Dubrovnik’s old town has been overwhelmed by tourists, especially after its feature in popular media like “Game of Thrones.” The city’s narrow streets and historical sites are under threat.

Solutions to Combat Overtourism

Implementing Visitor Quotas

Setting limits on the number of visitors allowed in a destination can help manage crowds and reduce impact. This strategy is used in places like Bhutan, which imposes a daily tourist fee.

Promoting Off-Season Travel

Encouraging tourists to visit during off-peak times can help distribute visitor numbers more evenly throughout the year. This approach can alleviate pressure during high season.

Sustainable Tourism Practices

Adopting sustainable tourism practices ensures that tourism development meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations. This includes eco-friendly accommodations, responsible wildlife tourism, and community-based tourism.

Educating Tourists

Raising awareness among tourists about the impacts of their actions can promote more responsible behavior. Educational campaigns and guidelines can inform tourists on how to minimize their footprint.

The Role of Technology in Managing Overtourism

Real-Time Data Analysis

Using technology to monitor and analyze tourist movements can help manage overcrowding. Real-time data can be used to redirect tourists to less crowded areas, easing pressure on popular spots.

Digital Booking Systems

Implementing advanced booking systems for attractions can control visitor numbers and enhance the overall experience. Online reservations for sites like the Alhambra in Spain help manage daily visitor flow.

Mobile Apps

Mobile applications providing information on less crowded attractions, sustainable practices, and cultural insights can guide tourists towards responsible travel choices.

Case Studies: Successful Management of Overtourism

Galápagos Islands

The Galápagos Islands have implemented strict visitor regulations, including limited access to certain areas and guided tours only. These measures have helped protect its unique biodiversity.


Iceland promotes sustainable tourism through various initiatives like limiting the number of tourist buses and encouraging visitors to explore lesser-known sites. The country’s focus on preserving natural landscapes has set a standard for others.

New Zealand

New Zealand’s “Tiaki Promise” encourages tourists to act as guardians of the environment. The initiative includes pledges to protect nature, respect culture, and travel safely.

The Future of Tourism

Embracing Responsible Tourism

The future of tourism lies in adopting responsible practices that balance the needs of tourists, locals, and the environment. This approach ensures long-term sustainability and preservation of destinations.

Policy Development

Governments and tourism boards need to develop and enforce policies that address overtourism. This includes infrastructure development, capacity management, and environmental protection.

Community Involvement

Engaging local communities in tourism planning and management can ensure that tourism benefits locals and preserves cultural heritage. Community-based tourism provides a more authentic experience for visitors while supporting local economies. Overtourism poses a significant threat to many of the world’s most beloved tourist destinations. By understanding its causes and impacts, and implementing sustainable practices and policies, we can ensure that these places remain vibrant and accessible for future generations. It’s essential for all stakeholders, including tourists, local communities, and governments, to work together to combat overtourism and promote a more responsible approach to travel.

How Daily Habits Boost Productivity and Creativity, Read Here

No Need for Panic Over Singapore Covid Wave: TN Govt

Eye diseases are increasing due to heat and sunlight, protect yourself from infections like this

Join NewsTrack Whatsapp group
Related News