Overtourism: What exactly is “overtourism”? Concerned that YOU could be responsible for it? What can you start doing NOW to combat it?

You love to travel! I know you do…I do too! We love to experience all of the beautiful places in the world! We love to see the sights, eat all of the yummy food, and experience all of the unique culture. So do a whole LOT of other people as well- unfortunately in many of the worlds most loved places the sheer number of people visiting during tourist season is seriously taxing the resources of all of those beautiful places.

Overtourism has both environmental and socio-cultural impacts: such as depletion of water and other natural resources, water pollution, air pollution, depletion of the ozone, isolation of local residents, and it also causes housing prices to rise to rise to levels too high for locals to pay therefore limiting their housing choices.

Overtourism is really bad for the communities affected but there are some things WE can do to help:

  1. Travel During the Off-season and Shoulder Season: This is the best way to avoid overtourism AND a great way to help the people during those times of the year that the economies of those countries face a cash crunch. These times of year YOU get to take advantage of great discounts on flights and hotels. It’s a win-win for everyone! You get a great vacation at a great price and the country you visit benefits from the cash you spend. Do avoid visiting places during major holidays or big festivals.
  2. Support Local Communities AND Their Businesses: Hire local guides (or hire a travel agent to prefers to work with local guides) and eat at small, locally-owned cafes, bakeries, and restaurants. There are two benefits to this as not only will you get a taste of the authentic flavors of the city but you will also be supporting the local economy as well. Buy souvenirs and handicrafts from local vendors and artisans so they directly benefit from your tourism dollars and help sustain their local traditions and culture.
  3. Travel Off the Beaten Path: Don’t stay put when visiting major cities, go on day trips to smaller, lesser known cities nearby. To really experience the country visit the smaller neighborhoods or spend time in the countryside. There are also many stunning countries that aren’t on the average travelers radar, offbeat countries like Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan.
  4. Respect the Local Environment and Culture- Be Responsible: Remember you are an Ambassador for your country when you travel so please behave yourself! Don’t be rude, unhygienic, a nuisance to the residents or other travelers, do not litter…. Respect the country and citizens. Be respectful of the religious sentiments of the locals. Dress appropriately when visiting their religious sites. And lastly do NOT drink irresponsibly!
  5.  AVOID Renting AirBnB Homes!: Yes, you heard me correctly. Avoid renting AirBnB homes because they are a major reason why local residents are not able to afford good housing or are forced to spend way more than they can comfortable afford on housing. In many places the local landlords are now focusing on the money to be made renting to tourists and changing their rents accordingly. This prices many locals out of their own housing markets! Do NOT contribute to this! Search for better deals by travelling during shoulder and off-season when hotel prices are down by 30 to 40%.
  6. Be an Aware and Informed Traveler By Preparing Beforehand: Study your destination before you get there. Read about the laws, customs, culture, and history and be aware of the do’s and don’ts. Or you can do yourself a real favor and hire a travel agent who respects local culture and who can do all of the research for you so you can simply relax and look forward to your amazing trip!

Overtourism is a troubling trend across the world but YOU can do your part not to contribute to it while you travel to and experience the many amazing destinations the world has to offer!

To read more on this topic you can go to:

Overtourism – 7 Ways To Help Solve This Worldwide Problem

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Overtourism

 

https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/how-to-stop-overtourism/index.html

 

If you need help booking a vacation that is an amazing experience for you and beneficial to the peoples of the destination you visit I would love to help! I can find you wonderful accommodations, dining options, and experiences that give back to the communities you travel to.

 


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