“Eduardo Lafforgue considered a seemingly unanswerable question: How do you decide when your town is attracting more tourists than it can handle?
“I don’t have the magic answer,” he says. “If I did, I would sell the formula to Venice, Barcelona, and some other places that desperately need to know when to stop.”
Lafforgue runs the chamber of commerce of Niagara-on-the-Lake, a picturesque Canadian town a few miles north of Niagara Falls. In the summer months, it is thronged with tourists, who fill its painfully pretty main street, snapping photos of ice-cream cones and hanging baskets. In previous years, the town of 17,500 people has welcomed 3.5 million visitors – almost twice as many per capita as Venice. Lafforgue hesitates to call it overtourism, but the volume of visitors in recent years has been enough to vex local residents, who tell stories of picnickers setting up in their backyard, or taking their lounge furniture off the front porch.”