Tourist Tuesday, 12/19/17

9D737427-167B-4A38-9AB9-E0DEFDC1D208Tourists fill a pathway in Hongcun village, China. Photo: Jonathan Tourtellot

Tourism has a numbers problem

The world’s population explosion has finally arrived. It has manifested itself not in global waves of famine as was feared half a century ago, but in waves of Airbuses, tour buses, and minibuses. Tourists by the millions.

This population explosion overwhelms St Mark’s Square in Venice. It pushes through the streets of Barcelona, angering residents. It forms hours-long queues in China for the cable cars up Mount Huangshan and fills all the lanes in the World Heritage Village of Hongcun (above). It paves the beaches of the Mediterranean in simmering northern European flesh. In the Louvre it blocks your view of the Mona Lisa with forests of smartphones held high in selfie mode. It pushes through the ruins of Tulum in Mexico with busloads of Spaniards, Americans, Chinese. It even creates traffic jams on the climbing routes up Mount Everest.

It has spawned a new word: Overtourism. Too many tourists.

(To be continued in the following weeks, including possible solutions)

7 thoughts on “Tourist Tuesday, 12/19/17

  1. Season Greeting’s to you Kate!

    This could be one answer to Big Sur’s problem of excessive tourism, Stop the Tour Buses! This would prevent hundreds of bodies per week from visiting. More is needed certainly, but an idea perhaps to at least cut in half? the number of Buses arrival.


  2. I believe that very soon, a virus could eliminate the problem…or at least some of it. That’s perculating….

  3. Good article, realistic about the crowds but sadly mistaken about the absence of serious famine around the globe due to drought, floods, toxic agriculture, poverty and politics.

  4. I figure we have a choice relating to overpopulation… either we do more with birth control or wars, famine and disease and climate change will help it along. What a sad bunch we are in too many ways.

  5. Big Sur doesn’t seem to have the tour bus problem, in fact for us, it could help alleviate the single car deluge and traffic congestion. It also almost assures (?) us that those traveling the windy dangerous route of Hwy 1 know how to drive!!! It would be imperative that until Mud Crk opens, they turn back around and go back north on Hwy 1 and not over Naci!!

  6. Doing my part. Maybe we should make it chic to avoid crowds and stay home. That’s what I do. I can’t fathom even Big Sur with mobs of tourists.

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