‘Overtourism has not made it to the dictionary yet, but given it has become part of our vocabulary I assume it won’t be long,’ Marshall said.
Loss of authenticity, dramatic lifestyle changes
She said it is when locals or tourists feel places are over visited and are in danger of losing their character. It results in a loss of authenticity for tourists and often dramatically changes the lifestyle of locals.
She said Venetians are positive about tourism because it is their livelihood.
However, she said, they struggle in peak periods, exhausted keeping up with the volume of tourists.
‘Marco, my gondolier, studied for five years to get his licence,’ she said. ‘He said he loves tourism but in the peak periods he struggles to keep up. There is never a slow day and the gondoliers have huge days, from 8 a.m. until midnight.’
She said Venice is a famous example of how residents suffer the consequences of an excessive growth in visitors.
She said very few Venetians still reside in Venice.
Marshall said there are many reasons for the explosion of the tourist industry—the world is becoming more affluent, China has more international tourists than any other country, India is growing and baby boomers continue to travel as much as younger people.
Getting rid of tourists not the answer
‘Anti-tourism sentiments come from a place of self-preservation, but realistically, getting rid of tourists is never going to be the solution,’ she said.
‘Dubrovnik may see too many tourists, but an outsized 18.1% of Croatia’s GDP (gross domestic product) comes from the tourism sector. Without those tourists, the country would suffer.
‘Similarly, 11.1% of Italy’s GDP comes from the travel and tourism sector.’
She said there are many tactics on the table to address overtourism and that the cruise industry has an excellent capacity to control flow and tourism dispersal.
Cindy D'Aoust's summary
She said Cindy D’Aoust sums up the complex problem very well with this quote:
‘Everyone has a part to play and a seat at the table to ensure that we’re going to go forward. Because the answer isn’t really having less visitors, it’s how we accommodate more visitors.’
Copyright © 2022. All rights reserved. Seatrade, a trading name of Informa Markets (UK) Limited.