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Old 12-29-2017, 04:27 PM
11 posts, read 13,297 times
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Just came back from a vacation trip in Europe (Italy, Spain, and France to be more specific) and literally EVERY town i stopped by was full of tourist and crowds of travelers. The local population/culture made up like like 5% of the businesses, the rest were tacky tourist related businesses just as those you’d find along the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Don’t get me wrong, i don’t dislike the idea of global tourism, i think it’s great people are open minded and want to learn more about the world outside of what they’re accustomed to. However it gets to a point where it no longer feels like you’re in some far away foreign adventure. Small towns that were once full of culture and even alittle gritty vibe have turned into amusement parks such as Disneyland where everyone is from elsewhere, walking slowly, and tacky people with their selfie sticks taking a million pictures.

I believe the causes to the grand increase in tourism is

-Social Media (people wanting to show off that they’ve been places)
-Increase of Internet access (tourism industries advertising tactics)
- Youtube (probably the number 1 source for exposing once hidden gems throughout the world where people can upload “traveling guides” that can reach up the hundreds of thousands of views easily).
- and lastly, an increase of people obtaining passports across the world, especially the Asian countries.

The Earth’s population is always growing and only rapidly increasing by the year. Traveling is seen as “cool and trendy”.

I’m fortunate to live in the United States where there’s alot more spacious land and offers many states with low density populations, however i can slowly start to see it change.

It’s much much worse in Europe in older cities where the streets are narrows and there’s lack of public space to the point you can’t even find room to sit and you have to constantly hold your children’s hands to not get lost in the crowd. It just takes one person to stop walking or take a picture to block the flow of crowds trying to walk through narrow allies. That alone is enough to make me not want to go back to Europe.

Sorry for rambling, i didn’t think i’d write an entire blog but i just needed to let out my thoughts after my Christmas trip.

What are your thoughts on Mass Tourism? I highly recommend you look up some Youtube videos on “Mass Tourism” since i believe it will be a more controversial topic as the years go by. The worst so far is in Venice and Barcelona where they limit the amount of people inside popular public parks.

Last edited by Arizona Desert Rat; 12-29-2017 at 05:51 PM..
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Old 12-29-2017, 04:53 PM
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Why did you choose these specific towns if they are so touristy and you don't seem to like that?
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Old 12-29-2017, 05:24 PM
Location: NYC
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It sounds like you realized that visiting some of the most famous tourist spots in the world during a holiday season would be crowded, I'm assuming here your " Mass Tourism" complaint isn't specifically about organized tours & package holidays with a group, maybe I'm wrong?

If you have to go to Paris, Rome, et al..., go in the off season Jan-May/Sep-Nov. If you are confined to typical holiday times be creative & go to Brussells & Bruges instead of France, go to Portugal instead of Italy, try some of the "newer" spots in E Europe just catching on like Slovenia, Croatia, Llubijania (sp?); or try non urban destinations in the popular countries.

I typically travel off-season & stay in residential neighborhoods, not hotel/tourist oriented downtown areas, & avoid many famous sites but do go to local shops, cafes, parks. I had to sacrifice the Sistine Chapel & the Uffizi Gallery last trip unfortunately but I remember hitting some of these type places at opening time early in the a.m. & it worked out fine before the masses showed up.
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Old 12-29-2017, 05:54 PM
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I guess i’v just been unlucky in traveling even during off seasons. And about my complaints, it’s not just the big urban cities, i was also trying to include small towns that have some kind of historical appeal or geographic beauty (Mountains, beaches).

It’s more depressing in the small towns where the infrastructure wasn’t designed to handle the large crowds.

Even completely rural areas like the Mayan Ruins surrounding Cancun can be influxed with people.
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Old 12-29-2017, 08:01 PM
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It is famous for the reason. If you want to see it, other can too. I think it is selfish thinking to want to be a only few people to visit
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Old 12-29-2017, 10:36 PM
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,527 posts, read 39,903,732 times
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I seldom have that problem using farm stays. Even Venice and Brussels were delightful from my farm stays < 20 min away. (Venice was EMPTY for some reason... maybe a plague!)

I typically do not do cities (except on weekends when most locals LEAVE the city!)

I grew up near Estes Park Colorado... maybe that 'conditioned' me...
New Years Eve in Sydney, AU was a bit over the top, but still drivable.

Reasons for crowds! It is VERY ez and common to travel! (Everyone is doing it)
Funny stories...
our neighbors (age 70+) frequently go on a whim to Europe.
They do not have a smartphone and NEVER make any reservations in advance.

They rip out the Rick Steves tour suggestion pages for the town they are visiting and go start exploring.

They are standing in the town square trying to read the Rick Steves map and ... "Hey... There is Rick Steves over there... Let's go ask him!" Which they did, and they got oriented onto the right pathway.

Ironically, this has happened to many. (small world.)

My mom was in Rome and bumped into my cousin from, Nebraska.
I frequently meet up with folks I know, but didn't know they were going to be in Asia or Europe.

On an East Coast sojourn as a family (12 week Homeschool Field Trip) we met another homeschool family from our home 3000 miles away 5 different times (unplanned). Inside the Statue of Liberty ! "Hey, you!!! what are you doing here?" Boston (getting off the subway), ...
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Old 12-30-2017, 12:24 AM
Location: Sydney Australia
597 posts, read 352,413 times
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The increase in mass tourism has a lot to do with the availability of cheap airfares as well as the rapidly increasing affluence of the Asian middle classes. There are literally millions and millions travelling who were not able to even twenty years ago.
Europe has been getting that way well before the use of social media.
I agree that some places are quite ruined by mass tourism, particularly in Europe. we first went to Europe, for four months in 1977. You could park in front of the Eiffel Tower, in the middle of London etc. Rome these days is a nightmare even in September, after the locals are back at school and work. However last year we chose to stay in Tivoli instead and it was lovely. Then went to Puglia and Basilica and escaped the hoardes.
We have the whole Sydney New Year thing going on at the moment. I have no desire whatsoever to track into the city as I have seen the fireworks enough times in my life.
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Old 12-30-2017, 12:48 AM
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
10,511 posts, read 8,751,470 times
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To avoid tourists: Travel in the off- or shoulder seasons; get away from the tourist sites (as in Paris) to lovely secluded places, not far away; avoid the large cities and tour lovely rural regions.
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Old 12-30-2017, 02:24 AM
Location: Tucson Arizona
3,872 posts, read 1,644,470 times
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If it sounds like a great place to visit to you, everybody else probably feels the same way.

One nice thing about popular tourist destinations; they usually have more restaurants, more nightlife, more transportation, and more English speakers than the less-crowded alternatives. Think about what you want from your vacation!

For instance, you can go to exciting Honolulu and get a stretch Hummer limousine to take you to nightclubs and beaches, or visit peaceful Hilo where they roll up the sidewalks at 4:30 pm. The mall in Hilo closed at 6pm on Christmas eve---that's small town!
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Old 12-30-2017, 02:54 AM
8,974 posts, read 8,093,468 times
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Those small towns have people living in them, that need a way to earn a living for themselves and their families. The only industry is tourists, who bring their money to town and spend it, providing jobs and giving them a living. They only hope to bring even more tourists.

StealthRabbit. Know Estes Park real well. I once was on a committee at the Chamber Of Commerce to attract tourists. For locals there are never enough tourists in tourist towns. 
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