Over-tourism at its worst - crowds!

Responsible Travel & Over-tourism

Mass tourism -- aka over-tourism

Responsible travel is a moral obligation for all of us that is much needed in a world that is often over populated and not educated on how a simple thing, like taking a vacation -- comes with both responsibilities and rules.  Take it from someone who lives in a popular tourist destination, “We love you, but we are not happy with the unintended problems having you visit us constantly creates on a daily basis.”  We suffer long lines, traffic, crowded venues, crowded restaurants, rude behavior, and cultural differences that present a just a few of the problems other people’s vacation fun brings to our lives.


That great vacation rental house you snagged at a bargain price that is next door to our house, the one with the swimming pool?  Well, your vacation loud pool parties night after night get a little old.  So does waking up to strangers walking about and leaving trash all over.  


So why would being a travel agent become a responsibility to also teach and preach - responsible travel?  Well, we believe everyone who can, should travel and travel extensively.  It enriches your life in ways that you cant even imagine.  It not just the lives of locals that are impacted, but its also about the quality of your vacation experience is also hampered when over-crowded over-tourism exists without check.  


Dream Travel Today would be remiss to not actively encourage everyone to “think twice” about their impact on the places they love to travel to.  Many places none of us would want to miss seeing and experiencing, are currently suffering under the weight of mass tourism, aka over tourism.  


Take Amsterdam for example.  First this country is a small one, with a population of 17 million.  The population of the city of Amsterdam is 860,124 and it is only 85 square miles in size.  Yet, Amsterdam alone will be invaded with 19 million tourists this year alone, which is more than the population of the entire country.   In another four years, this number of tourists to Amsterdam is expected to morph into 29 million visitors.  That comes with more than a few problems.


So, you can’t really blame the locals who don’t appreciate the noisy, binge-drinking, partying, urinating in the streets, vomiting tourists.  And they are fighting back, with new laws and rules for anyone coming to Amsterdam.  No more new hotels.  No more new souvenir shops.  Private rentals and Airbnb’s, are under increasingly tight regulations, and possibility in danger of being banned.  It’s not that you aren’t welcomed as a tourist.  It’s all about the quality of life of the people who live there everyday and balance, as a tourist destination.


Fines for bad behavior, public drunkenness, and urinating in public have been dramatically increased and you either pay-on-the-spot or go to jail.   Over tourism isn’t unique to Amsterdam.  Vacation destinations, such as the featured destinations below are drowning in tourists: 


Learn More About Over-tourism

This is a series so be sure to check back and learn how you can personally change mass-tourism.

Find out more

Over-tourism Destinations

Kerla Blackwaters, India

Kerla Blackwaters, long lines and hundreds of ferry boats, congested and garbage filled water.

This well traveled waterway is clogged with hundred of kettuvallam thatch-roofed riceboats leading to a water so polluted from diesel fuel and the garbage thrown openly into it.

Ulutu, Australia

Not exactly the sunset view your selfie at Ulutu, Australia was supposed to be.

Ulutu, Australia momolith should be enjoyed peacefully at sunset and sunrise, but more than likely you'll be among a crowd of bus tour groups, backpackers and other tourists.

Easter Island, Chile

The Moai stand silent guard on Easter Island, Chile

The Moai who stand guard on Easter Island, Chile will never tell us their secrets but its really no secret that overtourism , vandalism, and human waste are taking a toll on this fragile environment and the culture of the Rapa Nui people.

Taj Mahal, India

Taj Mahal, India at sunset - over-tourisim and conservation nightmare.

Be prepared for a sea of people crowding your view of the Taj Mahal, India - clamoring for your tourist dollars, wannabe guides, souvenir sellers, hawkers, animal vendors, and tourists all smashed together like sardines in a can.

The Pyramids of Giza, Egypt

The Pyramids of Giza, Egypt

This mass tourism site in Egypt is less crowded these days but those hawking souvenirs, camel rides, horses rides -- all fighting for your tourist dollars aggressively and sometimes alarmingly at the Pyramids of Giza, Egypt. 

Stonehenge, England

Stongehenge, England

Bus loads of tourists, clogged roads with tons of traffic and seeing the Stonehenge fenced off is a sobering set of memories reminding us that sometimes being popular isn't all that it's cracked up to be.  If only the stones could talk.


Responsible Travel Means Using Reef Safe Sunscreen


Over-tourism Destinations

Amsterdam, Netherlands

What to see in Amsterdam

With the sheer number of tourists to Amsterdam dwarfing the far smaller population annually, coupled with bad tourist behavior and poor manners, heavy fines and new rules are now the norm.

Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Ankor Wat, Cambodia Over-tourism

To combat the massive number of tourists and damage to it by them coming to Angkor Wat, Cambodia they've had to double the ticket prices, move the ticket booths far away, and place a cap on 100 visitors at a time for the central tower. Not exactly a photo op moment of your dreams in those crowds.

Bali, Indonesnia

Serious water shortages in Bali, Indonesnia

Water shortages, disrespectful behavior at sacred HIndu temples, and a garbage emergency is what Bali, Indonesnia is struggling with now thanks to tourism.  

Barcelona, Spain

Cruise ship blues in Barcelona, Spain

With the largest Mediterranean port, Barcelona, Spain they have resorted to a huge tax on cruise passengers who don't stay overnight in Barcelona.  Visit off peak times and off peak seasons.

The Great barrier reef, australia

90% of the Great Barrier Reef dead or dying

Being one of the world's 7 Natural Wonders it's hard to imagine that this vacation destination makes the bucket list of shame when it comes to the problems overtourism creates. It's dying thanks to us.  This is why we need to be responsible travel conscious.

Boracay, Malay, Philippines

Boracay, Malay, Philippines more tourist restrictions out of desperation and frustration

To accommodate the tourists in this once pristine island and its beaches, now considered a "cesspool" its been closed for six months to rehabilitate it.  New bans one single use plastics, waste management new rules, and even talk of limiting the number of tourists are the new reality.

Responsible Travel Means No Plastic Straws


Over-tourisim Destination

Dubrovnik, Croatia

Dubrovnik, Croatia

Funny how "Game of Thrones" fans, cruise ship passengers and epic ancient architeture can swamp a vacation destination.  Now only two cruise ships a day may disembark, and it's being discussed to limit the number of daily tourists.  If you have your heart set on going there, be responsible and go there during shoulder season. 

Florence, Italy

Reality in Florence, Italy

Over-tourism = littering = overspilled garbage containers = fines for pubic eating on busy streets = $522 out of pocket = the new norm for four streets: Via de' Neri, Piazzale degli Uffii, Piazza del Grano, and VIa della Ninn - during the hours of 12-3 p.m. and 6-10 p.m.

Forbidden City, Beijing, China

Forbidden City, Beijing, China

No longer can annual ticket holders visit during peak seasons, and tickets no longer sold online during national holidays -- a result of over-tourism in the Forbidden City, Beijing, China.

Great Smokey Mountains National Park, North Carolina/Tennessee

Great Smokey Mountains National Park

Our National Parks aren't sure exactly how to manage the over-tourism problems even in the Great Smokey Mountains on the border of North Carolina and Tennessee nearly 12 million tourists visit every year.

ICELAND

Iceland out populated by tourists.

Seven tourists for every resident says it all.  This has prompted new regulations with respect to Airbnb's.  Visitors are being encouraged to see other sites rather than the Blue Lagoon and visit off season.

Japan

No foreigners allowed sentiment

A number of Japanese tourist attractions are refusing entry to foreigners due to the bad behaviour and poor manners of overseas tourists.  It only takes a few "dumb asses" to make the ugly tourist image ruin a place for everyone.  

Responsible Travel Includes Bringing Your Own Bottles


Over-tourism Destinatios

Lisbon, Portugal

Keyhole to Lisbon, Portugal

Living in tourist land full time makes you appreciate the problems that Lisbon, Portugal's over-tourism problem has created.  Families who have lived in homes for generations are simply out priced rent and ownership wise.   Culturally, it's spoiling the real unique beauty of Lisbon making it too commercial and too Americanized with fast food franchises.

Mallorca, Spain

Mallorca, Spain

The term "booze cruise" says it all when it comes to cruise ship and party boat  invasions of Mallorca, Spai.  This has resulted in alcohol bans in inclusive resorts.  The horrors and dangers of bad tourist behavior (balconying of inebriated tourists), spells drinks having to be paid for by the drink to help curve the public drunkeness problem.  Muggings are common thanks to poor judgment and alcohol consumption problems. 

Machu Picchu, Peru

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu, Peru is scrambling to stay off the bucket list of "World Heritage in Danger" sites.  All thanks to tourists climbing and crawling over the ancient Incan ruins and damaging them.  Tourists were not staying on the paths and climbing anywhere they wanted for that "perfect Instgram" photo. 

Orlando/Kissimmee, Florida

Orlando and Kissimmee, Florida

The underbelly of living in close proximity of major theme parks and where "life's a beach" reigns supreme is the realities of mass tourism.  Rents are driven sky high for locals as homes are turned into Airbnb's or vacation rentals resulting in entire neighborhoods being 90% a visitor revolving door.  Home sale prices being inflated to the extreme with foreigners buying up homes for less with their better rate of exchange.   

Inflation is just one of the many aspects of problems world-wide tourist destinations face.

Mount Everest, Nepal

Mount Everest, Nepal

Inexperienced climbers, waste, and littered with trash is not what Mount Everest should be remembered for.  All of those are making Mount Everest a "don't go destination" UNLESS: you've can climb three 20,000 peaks, one 23,000 peak, one 26,000 peak, have 30 days in to spare for the Crampons ice spikes, 10 days of technical rock climbing -- under your belt of experience -- plus $10,000 or more in foreign climber fees up front.

Paris, France

Not picture perfect - Paris

Over crowded Paris, especially at the: Effiel Tower, Louvrel, the Chateau of Versailles,, Mont-Saint-Michael, the Chateau of CHambord, and the Loire Valley, and Carcassonne -- all examples of crowded places.  Still France is friendly to tourists but worried they will eventually be facing the problems that Venice, Italy and other places are experiencing.  

Responsible Travel Includes No Plastic Bags


Over-tourism Destinatios

San Francisco, California

San Francisco, California

Tourism is big business and wanted, but it comes with responsibilities on both sides.  San Francisco enjoys its tourists, but more and more its homeless population problems spell dirty streets, litter, and human waste on streets - not so attractive to tourists (who also contribute to the problem) but also for the residents.  

Santorini, Greece

Santorini, Greece

32 million visitors have water consumption becoming more and more a huge unsustainable problem.  This has resulted in capping the number of cruise visitors to 8,000 per day, bans on excess weight of tourists on donkey rides, restrictions on where you can drive and go.

Thai Islands

Paradise found and then lost, Thai Islands

"Call someplace paradise and kiss it goodbye," an Eagles lyric that says it all when it comes to the Thai Islands.  Decimation of the ecosystems, beaches and waters littered in trash, loss of 80% of the coral reefs, and loss of marine life?  People! What are you doing? Shame on us.

The Galapanos, Equador

Galapanos, Equador

Invasive species have added to the fragile condition of these islands, making it now an area where being endangered heritage site is the new norm.  Limits now on placed on where visitors can go and increased restrictions are now reality.

The Grand Bazaar, Istanbul, Turkey

The Grand Bazaar, Istanbul, Turkey

Extremists and terrorism have had an undesirable aspect of over-tourism, the opposite - when counted on tourism is no more, resulting in economic depression and changed the cultural mix of who visits now and who doesn't.  Namely Europeans and Americans no longer the over-tourism of it, being replaced with Middle Easterners.  Still over-tourism, just a different group of them.

The Great Wall of china

The Great Wall of China

Ten million tourists a year, over-tourism at its worst, with vandals staling bricks and others defacing the Great Wall of China with graffiti.  

Packable Carry On Duffle Bag


Over-tourism Destinations

Sistine Chapel, the Vatican, Italy

Sistine Chapel, The Vstican, Italy

Having been there during a peak high season in the heat of summer, seeing the Sistine Chapel was an exercise in heat stroke prevention and patience because of the crowds.  We were part of the problem because our mere presence is damaging the priceless and precious artworks just by the amount of carbon dioxide with breath out in that environment. 

Venice, ITaly

Venice, Italy

If you don't have an extra $590 to spare for your fine for sitting in a public place, you might want to only visit Venice during shoulder season (April-June or September to October) and avoid the crowds and be part of the solution, not the problem with over-tourism in Venice, Italy.

Victoria Peak, Hong Kong

Victoria Peak, Hong Kong

Overtourism isn't the biggest problem at Victoria Peak, Hong Kong -- It's a given on this crowded island that you will be crowded -- it's that Victoria Peak is an example of all of us failing to recognize that there are alternative destinations that beg to be discovered and are less fragile to the norm of overcrowded venues and destinations.

YellowStone National Park

Yellowstone National Park

Serious traffic jams on very narrow roads for long periods of just sitting in your car is not anyone's idea of a dream vacation.  The national parks do a good job of staggering entry times but it still is a Yellowstone problem to be avoided and to avoid being part of the problem -- visit during less popular weeks of the high season tourist days.

zion National Park

Zion National Park

Do yourself a favor and Zion National Park and visit off season if you can.  The temperatures will be better without the summer heat and you'll be having a much better vacation experience.

the acropolis, greece

The Acropolis, Greece

Here over-tourism has the Acropolis so damaged that restoration work coupled with Greece's financial situation, has also made the visitor's views of the ancient Acropolis one that includes scaffolding, make-shift buildings, construction sights and sounds, and heavy equipment more visible than the Acropolis itself.