Overcrowding at the world’s most popular tourism sites

tourists queuing to get into ReichstagFrom Disneyland to Barcelona, the never ending growth in the number of people going on holiday is putting increasing pressure on the places they visit. As a result, destinations and attractions are beginning to explore how to ensure that the volume of tourists doesn’t irreparably damage the places they are coming to see. “Overcrowding is becoming a major issue at many global touristic destinations,” Randy Durband, president of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council, told Tourism Weekly. “All tourism destinations need meaningful destination-management plans and management structures that ensure sustainability in a very broad sense, and that includes [addressing the issue of] overcrowding.”

In Brief
  • In 2014, the number of international tourists reached 1.14 billion, 51 million more than in 2013, according to the World Tourism Organisation, making it the fifth consecutive year of above-average growth in global tourism since the 2009 economic crisis.
  • Nearly 2 billion people are expected to travel internationally by 2030.
  • The Palace of Versailles now has a “crowded days” calendar on its website asking visitors to simply stay away during those times.
In Depth
In the Future
Jeremy Smithhttp://www.jmcsmith.com
Jeremy Smith is the editor and co-founder of Travindy. He is a writer and communications consultant working for a more responsible and sustainable tourism industry. He is the author of two books, writes a fortnightly blog on responsible tourism for World Travel Market, and provides consultancy to a wide range of companies and organisations, ranging from National Parks to individual hotels and tour operators.

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