In the past, we often read the “55 places that must be visited in this life” selected by National Geographic magazine, “the world’s most popular tourist destination in the year” and other similar travel recommendations, but at the end of 2017, the US travel guide Fodor is quite meaningful. In the opposite direction, it lists “the top ten attractions that should not be visited in 2018”, including Venice, the Great Wall of China, Amsterdam, the Italian Cinque Terre, and Barcelona. It is not that these attractions are not worth going by themselves, but that these places are suffering from excessive tourism. The definition of over-tourism is that the number of tourists far exceeds the reception capacity of local tourists, resulting in the destruction of the local environment, infrastructure and residents’ lives. Today, there are countless examples. The total population of Iceland is only 340,000, but it has received 2.3 million visitors in 2018. The number of tourists in Bruges, Belgium is already three times that of the local population… With the flood of global tourism The skyrocketing and over-tourism not only jumped into the hot words, but it is also becoming a global reality.
In the Louvre, the people of all countries, Da Vinci, the masterpiece of the Mona Lisa, are surrounded by water.
The anger of the Louvre
On May 27th, many tourists in Paris were excited to rush to the place where they traveled to France, the Louvre. But it was not the smile of Mona Lisa, but the anger of the Louvre staff. Due to the surge in the number of tourists, the working environment at the site of the visitor has deteriorated as never before. The staff at the reception of the Louvre decided to strike collectively, which caused the Louvre to have to close for one day. According to official data, the Louvre has a total of 10.2 million visitors in 2018, ranking first in the world. “The Louvre is going to suffocate,” the union said in the announcement. “If you go on like this, the Louvre will become Disneyland!”
Although the Louvre resumed its visit on May 29th, the problem of over-tourism was far from being resolved. Just two weeks later, when a Chinese visitor visited the Louvre, he also experienced a suffocation. According to her description, it was nearly five o’clock in the afternoon and only one hour left before closing. I thought that the flow of people should not be large, but in a small independent exhibition hall on the second floor of the Louvre, “Mona Lisa” is still surrounded by more than twenty layers of people. In addition to the glass cover itself as an anti-theft measure, it is the “best protection” of the Mona Lisa that may be intensively crowded. Many people in the field were desperately trying to lift their feet and stretch their necks, holding a mobile phone to shoot. They come from all over the world, some need to take a plane for more than ten hours, and some wait for more than sixty years, just for the glory of Mona Lisa. Those who want to get close to the scene make all the way to drill in. The people who read the paintings are trapped in the crowd, and from time to time they can hear a few curses caused by shoving.
Occupied Water City
Such a sense of suffocation, I believe that visitors who have experienced the domestic Golden Week tour are no strangers, people are crowded, and the water is unreasonable has become the norm of domestic Golden Week tourism. In fact, Europe has also become the hardest hit by “excessive tourism”. Venice has become the most famous victim of Europe. The number of tourists who are soaring not only destroys the beauty of the city, but also destroys the city itself.
“There is no soot here, the sky is clean; in the mild daylight, everything is as transparent… The sea is so green, so it will take you to the dream.” More than 80 years ago, Mr. Zhu Ziqing wrote Venice seems to be waking up. Known as the “Pearl of the Adriatic Sea”, there are no vehicles in the city of Venice. They are only connected by boats and boats. Therefore, the Venetian boat Gondodo has become a tool for the Venetian. Today’s ships have become more of a means of transportation for tourists, and tourists have gradually become the backbone of the city. There is no off-season in Venice, and every day of it is a tourist season.
The influx of tourists has also changed the way of life in the city. A native-born Venetian complained: “When I was a child, the three shops downstairs in my house sold eggs, bread and vegetables. Now they all sell so-called “junk food to tourists. Everything here is for service. Tourists, local residents have been ‘rushed to the edge.’ In addition, local residents also need to pay for the price increase brought by the tourism industry, in a coffee shop, two cups of coffee plus a glass of water actually sold for 67 dollars. House prices and rents have risen madly, so many locals can’t afford it. In desperation, they can only live in abandoned converted houses in remote areas.
In the decades of booming tourism, the local population of Venice has been cut in half. Some experts even believe that by 2030, the local population may fall to zero. The beauty was destroyed and the locals had to choose to leave… A series of problems were not unique to Venice. The responsible travel website conducted research on global over-tour cities and found that about 98 destinations in 63 countries were suffering from excessive tourism. If you do not take measures from now on, you will face even more unsuccessful results in 10 years.
As a world-famous attraction, the Louvre has always had a large population density, and travelers from all over the world have come here.
The rise of the tourism army
Travel, living elsewhere, longing for the distance, how does this seemingly beautiful travel dream from beginning to end become a nightmare? This may be the fruit of the global material victory. In 2017, according to national statistics, the number of Chinese middle-class people has reached 245.8 million, while the proportion of middle-class people in developed countries is higher. As the middle class of the new era grows, the quality of life they demand is no longer just the satisfaction of material consumption in the traditional sense. “Travel, social gatherings, beauty and fitness” have become the three magic weapons of a new quality of life, and tourism seems to be the standard of the middle class. According to the World Tourism Organization, the number of international tourists in 1980 was only 278 million, and in 2010 it reached 1.4 billion. According to estimates, the number of global travelers will increase to 1.8 billion in 2030.
And the continued low air fares, booming low-cost airlines are providing convenience to tourists. “Going to the Philippines, when there is activity, it’s only 600 yuan!” One interviewee said with excitement, “I went to the Philippines twice last year.” When the airlines promoted, even if they went to Europe The off-season round-trip ticket can also have an affordable fare of two or three thousand yuan. Fares between the EU countries are cheaper. On Jetcost, there is advertising. The fare to Barcelona is 19 euros, which is equivalent to the price of a beer or a pizza. Some readers may wonder why the fare of the plane is so low? First, thanks to the International Convention on Civil Aviation, signed in 1944, aviation fuel exemption was passed at an international conference in Chicago. In addition, governments will provide airlines with high fossil fuel subsidies. It is also said that many local governments will attract airlines to open new routes in the local area in order to attract tourists. In fact, airlines have a lot of income sources: high government subsidies, insurance, hotel reservations, baggage fees, airplane meals, and on-board shopping. This is why more and more tourists can enjoy low fares.
On another level, the shared economy that has prevailed in recent years has also shared the responsibility of over-tourism. For example, Airbnb is a shared platform that allows locals to earn extra money while allowing visitors to enjoy a local-like travel experience. However, this is not the case. A travel blogger named Matt wrote: “Airbnb’s original vision has slowly changed. When rents become more and more affordable, Airbnb turned a blind eye to this fact: real estate companies Real estate managers and other individuals smelled the needs of tourists, so they bought a lot of property in the city center. As a result, renting for locals was reduced. At the same time, rents were raised and the original local tenants were forced to leave.”
On May 1, 2018, Venetian citizens and tourists restricted the crowded people on the main roads of Venice by revolving doors. This gutter gate was introduced by the Mayor of Venice, Luigi iBrugnaro, to control the flow of people, improve safety, and clear the most clogged streets in the city. It is installed in the Roman Forum, outside the train station and other important cities. location.
Watch the world with social media
Equally unimaginable is the huge influence of social media such as YouTube and Instagram. In the past, when people went to travel, they enjoyed the scenery itself more, and now the beauty is often the background of self-portraits. Visitors only want to show off on social media. Visitors to the lakeside town grew by 14% when travellers on social media visited the town of Wanaka, New Zealand. Most visitors want to find their best spot at the attraction, while the moving photos of the travel blogger often save them time to explore and find the beauty. They followed the wind to their destination, but found that others were also following suit.
In the small town of Oia in Santorini, there is a net red shooting point that captures three blue-roofed churches at the same time. It was a narrow road, and when you stepped down, you would see a small iron gate. The above is written in English: private residence, please do not enter (private, no entry). On the right side of the iron gate is a narrower stone path that can only pass two people at a time. Even after arriving at 9 am, visitors have already started waiting in line to take pictures. In Iceland, local officials even asked visitors to skip the most popular spots on the ins, as too many tourists are damaging them.
Travel has gradually become a contest about who can make the most beautiful photos, who can visit the competitions of the smallest attractions, who are more adventurous, and of course, the winners and losers will be given to the social networking sites. , comments and readings to judge. In order to win this game, someone will refine and even change their photos, including the scenery on the photos – to make them look more beautiful. Eduardo Santander, executive director of the European Tourism Commission, couldn’t help but ask: “You want to see this place, or want to tell others that you have been to this place.”
Are tourists still invaders?
“Good photos should be the result of a great experience, not a reason to start. Travel now becomes more like building a personal brand through social media, rather than adding personal experience and building a worldview through experience. Want to follow the photos of the net reds. The pace has not only led to over-tourism, but also angered locals and other tourists,” commented Justin Francis, CEO of Responsible Tourism. Yes, more and more locals are beginning to express their anger clearly and openly.
Some radical locals even think that the Tourist is a terrorist. They have reason to fear, because the historical examples are placed in front of them. Brighton is a coastal city in the south of England. In the 19th century, it quickly developed into a resort city that wealthy holidaymakers liked. Later, with the advent of the railway, many day trips from London came. This transformation has also been helped by local fishermen who provide visitors with a bath and a boat. As Brighton became more popular, some new travel developers began to think that these fishermen were in the way. They complained that the nets were spread out on the waterfront, preventing visitors from taking a walk on the promenade on the waterfront. A visitor described this in his diary—the fishermen had nothing but contempt for the tourists.
In 1821, the local police chief, driven by complaints from various parties, made a decision to remove many fishermen’s boats from the more popular locations on the beach, a move that triggered protests from fishermen. The result was that the fishermen lost and their boats were restricted to a fixed area on the beach, no longer obstructing visitors.
In 1827, troubles followed. The town’s chief asked the local fishermen to remove the winch from the Brighton West Cliff area, this time causing riots, a local man named Buck Marchant attempting to protect himself with a sled . However, the protests have subsided. From then on, the local fishery can only be restricted to the beach below the cliff, so that it can no longer affect the rapid development of the town’s tourism industry.
No one can guarantee that history will not repeat itself. In 2017, a parade of 150,000 people broke out in Barcelona, and locals took banners to protest against excessive travel. A number of residential platforms raised anti-tourist flags, and residents wrote slogans on the wall – “Visitors go home! We don’t welcome you!” “Your extravagant travel, my miserable daily life.” “Tourism – Kill the city!” On the Waiheke Island in Auckland, a man in shorts was on a two-lane road and forced the tour bus because of the traffic jam on the double-decker bus. On the island of Santorini in Greece, residents are willing to paint striking paint on their roofs – “Go out! Private homes.” In Mallorca, Spain, some people even throw a burning bottle at a restaurant full of tourists.
In fact, for most of the protesters, this is not a battle against tourists, but a battle against inaction, over-commercialization, and even capitalism. What they oppose is the government’s indulgence in the development of tourism and its lack of proper management, making their cities so inhospitable. More and more frequent protests have caught the attention of the government, and governments have taken measures. For example, limiting the number of tourists, collecting tourist taxes, stipulating the stay time, removing the landmark punch card logo, prohibiting the opening of new stores for tourists, some scenic spots suspending visitor reception, stopping travel promotion… When the tourism industry provides nearly one-tenth of the world When it comes to jobs, it seems that it is not a wise move to curb tourism. What is more important is to conduct effective tourism management.
Is tourism an inalienable right?
In Wuzhen, the eastern water town, it is necessary to collect tickets when entering the scenic spot. Local people enter with ID cards, and everything is in order. However, when the mayor of Venice, Luigi Brugnaro, tried to divert tourists by setting revolving doors and obstacles, he was strongly protested by the Venetians. The protesters said: “We will take it once and see it! I will set up an entrance ticket at the door. This makes me feel like Venice is like a zoo. I will never let my son grow up in such a place. I need to show the relevant documents when I come in. We are not at the zoo, we Venetians are not animals.” While the Venetians defend their rights, they also let tourists begin to think: Does the visitor have the right to violate the daily life of the locals?
When the government took measures such as current restrictions, tourists protested: “We have the right to travel.” When the roads are congested, infrastructure is occupied, prices are rising, residents are shouting: “What about our rights?” On this topic, journalist Catherine Mack proposes two concepts: natural rights and legal rights. Natural rights deserve to be human rights. The most classic expression comes from the Declaration of Independence: “We believe that these truths are self-evident: all human beings are born equal, and the creators give them certain inalienable rights. These include the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Unlike natural rights, legal rights refer to the rights enjoyed by citizens as stipulated in the Constitution and the law. “In the development of tourism, these two rights are often confused and lead to conflicts.” Catherine wrote: “When we visit our dreams as tourists, we should be fully aware of the rights of local people. The 17th century philosopher John Locke believes that everyone has the right to defend their lives, health, freedom and wealth.
“City residents of Barcelona, Dubrovnik, Venice or Amsterdam express their rights by protesting tourists. Uninterrupted diesel smoke on Dubrovnik’s cruises is damaging the health of the locals. Freedom is threatened because of local People can’t even buy food at the local Bologna market in Barcelona, where they are already crowded with tourists. In Goa, India, there are miles of coastline, but Indians are not allowed to use local beaches, cafes or stay. Cabins in the dock area. These are not even private beaches, there are only territories that allow foreigners to enter.
Is tourism an inalienable right? Customer must be God? Do you have the right to buy, does the other party have the right to refuse to trade with you? Justin Francis said: “In my opinion, tourism is a privilege, not a right. First of all, I can travel, indicating that I am relatively rich, there are still so many people in the world who are in poverty. Travel. The idea that you have the right to travel where you want to travel is wrong.” When we have the right to travel, we should consider the rights of local people and the travel literacy we should have – fully understand Local culture, try not to disturb the local people’s life, respect local customs and rules, grateful and cherish all this… As Tadashi Kaneko, executive director of the Global Strategic Headquarters of the National Tourism Administration of Japan, visitors must always remember “They are just borrowing this place from the local residents.” The city will give you the most sincere welcome whenever and wherever you respect the city.