Frequently Asked Questions
The World Tourism Organization(UNWTO) nicely describes the term: Overtourism occurs in ‘destinations where hosts or guests, locals or visitors, feel that there are too many visitors and that the quality of life in the area or the quality of the experience has deteriorated unacceptably. It is the opposite of Responsible Tourism which is about using tourism to make better places to live in and better places to visit. Often both visitors and guests experience the deterioration concurrently’. Another and probably better term, is ‘overcrowded destinations’.
Overtourism is not solely caused by an increased number of tourists. With urbananization and increased tourism going hand in hand, the problem is not solely a tourism industry issue. In fact, the majority of residents in cities most affected by overtourism believe there should be no limitations to the growth of visitors. Local governments are more than often not able to mitigate the effects and, in some scenarios, even turn a blind eye to the problem. Meanwhile, “tourism can only be sustainable if developed and managed considering both visitors and local communities”, says UNTWO Secretary General Zurab Pololikashvili.