Europe’s tourism spots plot escape from the too-many-tourists trap

Europe’s tourism spots plot escape from the too-many-tourists trap

The range of solutions floated at ITB Berlin this week included tightening up on Airbnb rentals, better management of tourism flow and widespread use of digital tools.

The fury rippled across Europe during a summer from hell in 2017. In Barcelona, they held up a tourist bus and slashed bike tyres. In Venice, they marched against the cruise ships and raised rents. In some Spanish cities, the writing was on the wall quite literally, as locals told travellers in the boldest fonts: “Tourists go home.”

So now, with the summer season just around the corner, tourism bosses across Europe are frantically trying to implement new measures that will keep locals happy and economies afloat.

“Someone said there is no overtourism, only undermanagement,” said the World Tourism Organisation secretary general, Zurab Pololikashvili, when asked how the industry could move forward.

“What we are facing is the clear need to step up the governance of tourist flows on the ground, especially if we look at growing tourist numbers in general and growing flows to urban destinations.”

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