Oversaturated Tourist Destinations

This is a room for the discussion of travel plans or experiences and the culture of places you have visited or plan to visit.
User avatar
Xenops
Blue Belt
Posts: 906
Joined: Mon Nov 30, 2015 10:33 pm
Location: Boston
Languages: English (N), French (A2), Japanese (rusty A2)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=7472
x 1588
Contact:

Oversaturated Tourist Destinations

Postby Xenops » Tue Jan 23, 2018 3:12 pm

(CNN) — Tourism backlash has been in full effect over the last 12 months, with several destinations announcing they'd had enough of foreign visitors flooding their streets or disrupting their fragile ecosystems.

Unsurprisingly, this has posed a a dilemma for mindful travelers planning their next vacation.

From Venice and Barcelona to the Galapagos Islands and even the Taj Mahal, here are the places conscious tourists might want to think twice about visiting in 2018.


https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/places-to-avoid-2018/?iid=ob_lockedrail_bottomlarge
7 x

User avatar
neuroascetic
White Belt
Posts: 37
Joined: Wed Oct 25, 2017 4:32 pm
Location: Portland, OR
Languages: Native: English
Learning: German
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... hp?p=92431
x 79

Re: Oversaturated Tourist Destinations

Postby neuroascetic » Tue Jan 23, 2018 4:44 pm

I appreciated the article's suggestions of alternate destinations to visit.
4 x

User avatar
zenmonkey
Brown Belt
Posts: 1460
Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2015 7:21 pm
Location: Germany and France
Languages: Spanish, English, French trilingual - actively studying German (B2/C1), Hebrew, Tibetan, Setswana.
Some knowledge of Italian, Portuguese, Ladino, Yiddish ...
Want to tackle Tzotzil, Nahuatl
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=859
x 3331
Contact:

Re: Oversaturated Tourist Destinations

Postby zenmonkey » Tue Jan 23, 2018 4:54 pm

Some of those are pretty low access already - Everest, Galapagos and Bhutan all have quotas (beyond what is mentioned in the article). But overall, yes mindless tourism is damaging.

I say this as someone who travels a lot and has seen the crowded effects on several of those places mentioned directly.

I agree that there are some nice suggestions there as secondary destinations but I honestly doubt to number of people going to Machu Pichu, for example, is going to drop without some drastic local policies (and no graft...).

It's a dilemma.
2 x
Tagged posts: Language Method Resource
Please feel free to correct me in any language, critique my posts, challenge my thoughts.
I am inconsistency incarnate.
Go study! Publisher of Syriac, Aramaic, Hebrew alphabet apps at http://alphabetsnow.zyntx.com

User avatar
Serpent
Black Belt - 2nd Dan
Posts: 2992
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2015 10:54 am
Location: Moskova
Languages: heritage
Russian (native); Belarusian, Polish

fluent or close: Finnish+ (certified C1), English; Portuguese, Spanish, German+, Italian+
learning: Croatian+, Ukrainian, Czech; Romanian+, Galician; Danish, Swedish
exploring: Latin, Karelian, Catalan, Dutch, Chaucer's English
+ means exploring the dialects/variants
x 3993
Contact:

Re: Oversaturated Tourist Destinations

Postby Serpent » Tue Jan 23, 2018 8:32 pm

I've only been to two of the destinations, Dubrovnik and Barcelona. And I loved visiting them off-season, in December and October respectively. I even swam a few times. (the reminder that there's more to Barna than Las Ramblas made me chuckle - I never got around to visiting it during the day)
Something definitely has to be done about the cruise ships :roll:
2 x
LyricsTraining now has Finnish and Polish :)

User avatar
Iversen
Black Belt - 1st Dan
Posts: 1847
Joined: Sun Jul 19, 2015 7:36 pm
Location: Denmark
Languages: Monolingual travels in Danish, English, German, Dutch, Swedish, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Catalan, Italian, Romanian and (part time) Esperanto
Ahem, not yet: Norwegian, Afrikaans, Platt, Scots, Russian, Serbian, Bulgarian, Albanian, Greek, Latin, Irish, Indonesian and a few more...
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=1027
x 3754

Re: Oversaturated Tourist Destinations

Postby Iversen » Tue Jan 23, 2018 11:26 pm

I have been to roughly half of the places on the list and also a fair number of the alternatives. I do however think cnn does the alternatives a disservice by naming them as substitutes on a list. Take for instance Venice... well I spent half a week there a few years ago (on my way to the polyglot conference Budapest), and I did so without being unduly bothered by the marauding selfie hordes or plundered to my bare skin by greedy tourist predators.

I had prebooked a ticket to the Palazzo Ducale, and once inside it was OK - totally possible to get to see everything . However I wouldn't have had the patience to queue up for half an hour or more outside as those without a prebooked ticket did - and I dropped seeing San Marco for the umpteenth time because of the ridiculously long queue there. But away from the winding trail leading from Santa Lucia to Piazza San Marco there are lots of interesting sightseeing places to visit without feeling that you have a whole tour group sitting on your lap - like the Naval museum, the Scuole, the small park near the railway station and the supermarket just one canal to the West of it plus all the churches that aren't mentioned in Lonely Planet.

As for Annecy it is definitely worth a visit, and yes it has channels, but it is NOT Venezia. It has a castle on a hilltop, some nice museums and a lake and nearby mountains, so visit it for those things ... and use your French without regretting that people don't speak Italian there. Likewise Cavtat isn't Dubrovnik, but it is OK to stay there and probably better if you just want to lie around on a beach.
5 x

User avatar
Ogrim
Blue Belt
Posts: 699
Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2015 10:29 am
Location: Alsace, France
Languages: Norwegian (N) English (C2), French (C2), Spanish (C2), German (B2), Romansh (B2), Italian (B2), Catalan (B2), Russian (B1), Latin (B1), Dutch (B1)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/viewtopic.php?t=873
x 2109

Re: Oversaturated Tourist Destinations

Postby Ogrim » Wed Jan 24, 2018 8:29 am

From a language learner's perspective I would say that I would not go to Venice with the purpose of practising Italian, and I can think of many other places in Spain where you will more easily be able to talk Spanish with the natives than in Barcelona. I've been to a few of the places on the list. Santorini is a beautiful place, but the sheer number of visitors (I was there on a day-trip in July) made it impossible to really enjoy the place, and prices where at least twice as high compared to Crete. At least back when I was there, it would be a great place for practising Russian, because there were busloads of Russian tourists pouring into the island almost every hour of the day.

As for Barcelona vs. Valencia, they are very different cities, both worth a visit, but if you do not have to be by the sea I would actually recommend the smaller cities and towns of Castilla La Mancha and Castilla y León, like Ciudad Real, Toledo, Segovia, Salamanca, Ávila, León or Burgos. In general much less crowded than the big cities, less tourism and more affordable. There are also great places to visit in the south of course, like Seville, Málaga, Granada and Cadiz.
3 x
Ich grolle nicht

User avatar
Iversen
Black Belt - 1st Dan
Posts: 1847
Joined: Sun Jul 19, 2015 7:36 pm
Location: Denmark
Languages: Monolingual travels in Danish, English, German, Dutch, Swedish, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Catalan, Italian, Romanian and (part time) Esperanto
Ahem, not yet: Norwegian, Afrikaans, Platt, Scots, Russian, Serbian, Bulgarian, Albanian, Greek, Latin, Irish, Indonesian and a few more...
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=1027
x 3754

Re: Oversaturated Tourist Destinations

Postby Iversen » Wed Jan 24, 2018 3:57 pm

Actually I have managed to stick 100% to Italian during my latest visits to Venezia. The trick is to avoid speaking to other tourists, and to answer back in Italian if a local person (typically at one of the tourist sights) tries to address you in for instance English.

And to Ogrim: maybe I should go to Santorini/Thira - not to pore over the ruins, but to use the opportunity to speak some Russian...
3 x

Cavesa
Black Belt - 2nd Dan
Posts: 2793
Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2015 9:46 am
Languages: Czech (N), English (C1), French (C2), Spanish (intermediate), German (somewhere on the path), Italian (passive advanced, active basic)
x 7854

Re: Oversaturated Tourist Destinations

Postby Cavesa » Wed Jan 24, 2018 5:12 pm

I am a bit divided on this matter. Yes, mass tourism is very damaging. But it takes such a role in the local economy, that some of the reactions we've seen lately look like a lot of ungratefulness. Like "we like your money, feel free to send it, but stay away"

I totally get it, you want to get rid of the bad affects of tourism in your city. But provoking guilt in individual tourists, who tend to be much less of a problem, that is no solution.

When it comes to holidays, I think positive motivation should work, such as promotion of individual tourism. Airbnb is actually very a very valuable tool in this, not a parasite on hotels, cities should find a way to use this new kind of service instead of fighting it. Or promoting visits all over the year. For example making different taxes per night (common in some countries) depending on the month of the year. Or museums and monuments could have different prices too.

The bans and limits should go to the source of problems. To huge travel agencies, to the enormous ships, that just flood a city with thousands of people, who won't contribute to the economy too much (they spend mostly on the ship). The large crowds of tourists are horrible.

I've always wondered, why there is no upper limit on the tourist groups. You know, when you want to put something outside in a public place (a street, a place), you ask for permission and pay for it (typical examples are restaurants in the summer, or events like concerts). When you organise any gathering in public places, you ask the local authorities, or at least announce it (depends on the kind of gathering. But even if it is one falling under the basic right to gather, they can tell you no should two large gatherings want the same spot at the same moment). But the tourists can go around in groups of 30-50 people. And that is problem in many places. Several such groups at a time can destroy a place. Even one is annoying.

This article is well intentioned. And better than most about the subject. But useless, because the people likely to open it are already considering various alternatives.
Valencia is a great place to visit, sure. But there are many reasons to see Barcelona. Or try to tell the tourists "oh, just try Reims instead of Paris, it is nice too".

What surprised me in the article: advice like "put down the selfie stick". Really, this should be a no brainer. Actually, the selfie sticks are a good example of a negative phenomenon that can be very easily addressed, and where a kind of prohibition or limit could work.
2 x

DaveBee
Blue Belt
Posts: 952
Joined: Wed Nov 02, 2016 8:49 pm
Location: UK
Languages: English (native). French (studying).
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=7466
x 1354

Re: Oversaturated Tourist Destinations

Postby DaveBee » Wed Jan 24, 2018 5:48 pm

Cavesa wrote:When it comes to holidays, I think positive motivation should work, such as promotion of individual tourism. Airbnb is actually very a very valuable tool in this, not a parasite on hotels, cities should find a way to use this new kind of service instead of fighting it. Or promoting visits all over the year. For example making different taxes per night (common in some countries) depending on the month of the year. Or museums and monuments could have different prices too.
I think the argument against Airbnb is from local residents, who believe it's pushing up rental prices.

I agree with your point about the complaining overall though. If you want tourists money, you have to have the tourists too!
3 x

User avatar
Serpent
Black Belt - 2nd Dan
Posts: 2992
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2015 10:54 am
Location: Moskova
Languages: heritage
Russian (native); Belarusian, Polish

fluent or close: Finnish+ (certified C1), English; Portuguese, Spanish, German+, Italian+
learning: Croatian+, Ukrainian, Czech; Romanian+, Galician; Danish, Swedish
exploring: Latin, Karelian, Catalan, Dutch, Chaucer's English
+ means exploring the dialects/variants
x 3993
Contact:

Re: Oversaturated Tourist Destinations

Postby Serpent » Wed Jan 24, 2018 6:53 pm

Haha why such negativity towards selfie sticks :P I was really sceptical myself but it just results in much better photos when travelling solo (and you can use it as a tripod too, not just for selfies). Obviously I wouldn't use it in a crowded area, but I've honestly tried asking other people to take a photo of me and usually the result is crap, even if I explain what kind of photo I want (horizontal vs vertical etc).
And a solo traveller with a selfie stick surely takes up less space than two or more travellers taking pics of each other.
3 x
LyricsTraining now has Finnish and Polish :)


Return to “Travel and Culture”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest