I have always drawn attention to over-tourism. It’s scary, humongous and it’s already here.

All the monuments, sites, temples, churches, mosques, synagogues, et cetera, have not been built for huge masses. Even natural sites should be very shy of masses. But that’s not the case.

With the dramatic demand of “likes”; “selfies”; “been there” culture this uncontrollable waves of travelers will have a huge impact on the sustainability of such valuable sites. Let’s not forget, all these unique destinations are not curated to handle such population.

There is no way to justify this. Also it is not the only destination taking drastic action to fight against the negative impacts of tourism. But we have to look at a bigger picture. The problems surrounding mass tourism have intensified at major destinations all around the world. Tourism cutting its own branch with overtourism.

When the terminology first was born in 2016, it was a concern for the popular sites only, but now only 3 years into its life span overtourism represents a potential hazard to most destinations worldwide. It’s like an insidious sickness that will surface at the last minute when it’s all too late. If not managed well the multi dynamics of tourism sector that feeds the power of travel business will impose unavoidable negative consequences.

In some countries we have started to see the impacts and hence eventually a decline in the sustainable casing of tourism in itself.

Economical, sociocultural, and environmental fingering of tourism in the dynamics of sectoral impart will cause a downfall with overtourism. Of course there is the hidden fact of the impact on the local residents that is not even noticed.

The world as we know is getting richer on one side while on the other slamming down with poverty. An ever-growing middle class is emerging in most developing countries, and many of these classes are seriously spending their disposable income on travel. According to the UNTWO forecasts international travellers’ circulation will keep growing on a percentage of approximately %4-5 per annum. The biggest penetration is of course the Chinese market which has almost increased by %1000.

According to The China Outbound Tourism Research Institute (COTRI) this percentage will triple by 2030.

Also the millennials are another huge factor. Ages as a group of between 22-37 tend to give precedence to experience. They are willing to spend all they can afford on travel rather than materials. An unpredictable and unexpected growth that will blaze the fire of overtourism. Turning overtourism to overdose tourism.

Unfortunately most top world destinations are facing the radical symptoms of chronic overtourism. Overload visits to structures that can barely hold one third of the mounted capacity are in serious jeopardy. For example according to the official visit numbers St. Sophia was entered 1.892.250 times in 2017.

Cutting to a number of approximately 150.000 per month, with an approximate visit of 5 thousand people daily. Take into consideration that the population of Constantinople in 1453 was approximately 50.000. One doesn’t need to be a genius mathematician to make the calculation. Such structures like St. Sophia have just not been built for such crowds.

And therefore the daily visits must be regulated. There is the resonance as a huge factor only by itself. One should never forget that we have only one St. Sophia like all the rest unique sites in our world. There is another example of Venice, the city that is sinking in its own population. This city can get daily visits more than some countries get annually. So just imagine. The famous ‘80S island of Greece called Zante which had all its beaches under ‘blue flag’ has recently been stripped off them.

We should also never forget the fact of overloaded infrastructure, bottlenecks at “must-see sights”, physical damage, and the alienation of locals and emergence of tourist traps. Lack of planning, lack of suitable infrastructure while aiming at ever higher numbers of visitors, can only damage nature and threaten culture and heritage.

And the real problem is that there is no one solution to overtourism. As any destination, geography and sites vary from one another the solution should and has to be customised.

First of all increasing entrance fees, taxes, tourist city toll, all that materialistic enforcement is absolutely not a solution as a whole. This will only trigger rich people to travel while the middle and or low class to stay back home. That’s not something we want.

We can emphasize the fact that most popular sites are “loved to death” by travellers. Over tourism is the total opposite of responsible tourism, there is a huge deterioration that needs to be managed cleverly and sustainably. In time before it becomes an nonreturnable issue all the wheels have to work together to sort this overtourism. Overism is moving must faster than anticipated.

We need to be more responsible and cautious…

Here are some numbers for you:

The Top 10 countries for overtourism

  1. Croatia (57,587,000 tourists to 4,170,600 locals – 1380.78%)                       
  2. Iceland (1,891,000 tourists to 334,250 locals – 565.74%)
  3. Hungary (52,890,000 tourists to 9,817,960 locals – 538.71%)
  4. Denmark (28,692,000 tourists to 5,731,120 locals – 500.64%)
  5. France (202,930,000 tourists to 66,896,110 locals 303.35%)
  6. Czech Republic (30,915,000 tourists to 10,561,630 locals – 292.71%)
  7. Singapore (16,404,000 tourists to 5,607,280 locals – 292.55%)
  8. Cyprus (3,286,000 tourists to 1,170,130 locals – 280.82%)
  9. Greece (28,071,000 tourists to 10,746,740 locals – 261.20%)
  10. Spain (115,561,000 people to 46,443,960 locals – 248.82%)

The top 10 countries for under-tourism

  1. Tanzania (1,284,000 tourists to 55,572,200 locals – 2.31%)
  2. Papua New Guinea (198,000 tourists to 8,084,990 locals – 2.45%)
  3. Kenya (1,340,000 tourists to 48,461,570 locals – 2.77%)
  4. Indonesia (11,519,000 people to 261,115,460 locals – 4.41%)
  5. Egypt (5,399,000 people to 95,688,680 locals – 5.64%)
  6. Mozambique (1,715,000 tourists to 28,829,480 locals – 5.95%)
  7. Iran (4,942,000 tourists to 80,277,430 locals 6.16%)
  8. Colombia (4,048,000 tourists to 48,653,420 locals – 8.32%)
  9. Sri Lanka (2,168,000 tourists to 21,203,000 locals – 10.22%)
  10. China (141,774,000 tourists to 1,378,665,000 locals – 10.28%)