#DTTT Blog

After catching up on the travel news or scrolling through Instagram for just a few minutes, it wouldn’t take long to understand why overcrowding, or overtourism, is becoming more and more prominent, and effecting destinations worldwide.

How many times have you seen a photo of someone overlooking the awe-inspiring ancient city of Machu Picchu, or standing on pristine white sands against a backdrop of longtail boats in Thailand? So many times it almost feels as if you’ve been there yourself?! These beautiful images are saturating social media platforms in droves, so imagine what it is like actually being there! These infamous sites and destinations offer a trip of a lifetime to most visitors, however the dream sadly doesn’t always match the reality. 


Most recently, it was announced that the infamous Maya Bay in Thailand has been closed indefinitely in order to revive the ecosystem and repair the damages caused to the area as a result of the sheer volume of tourists visiting over the years.


While the locals in Kyoto, Japan, have created a ‘scenery preservation’ committee to primarily tackle bad behaviour from tourists, as well as to assist in dispersing crowds in crowded times, areas and seasons.

The consequences of over tourism are widespread, having a knock on effect across the whole economy. In terms of the destination itself, the influx of tourists impacts the lives and wellbeing of the local population, so much so that earlier this year during the May Day weekend, Venice implemented a segregation system whereby residents and visitors were separated at various points. This was put in place in order to support locals and regular visitors of Venice.

It also has a damaging impact on the natural environment, infrastructures and culture and heritage, and with UNESCO sites in mind, it’s essential to protect what makes these attractions so special. For example, Machu Picchu simply does not have the infrastructure to support the huge number of visitors so as of July 2017, visitors can only enter the site with an official tour guide for a specific time period.

In terms of the visitor, overcrowding undoubtedly effects the quality of the experience. How can tourists enjoy visiting such an iconic site when the queue can often be longer than the time spent at the attraction itself? Last year, I Amsterdam piloted ‘Live Lines’, providing visitors with live queue times at the most popular museums across Amsterdam in order to minimise queuing times.   

Earlier this year, Visit Oslo launched ‘The Great Escape’ campaign which involved rescuing tourists from overcrowded tourist attractions and bringing them to Oslo where they can visit equally great attractions year round and with less people.


While Paris Tourisme’s ‘Discover Another Paris’ campaign is purely focused on promoting positive geographic spread, highlighting the lesser known districts and attractions tourists can visit rather than the most popular sites.

It is clear to see that the impact of overtourism is prompting destinations to employ positive strategies to minimise the effects as much as possible, in addition to the growing popularity of experiencing a destination as a local.

On the 7th of November, we are inviting applicants to compete for a £3,000 prize by coming up with real solutions to this industry-wide problem at WTM London this year. Participation is free, so sign up now!

Sign up to the #DTTT Newsletter



comments powered by Disqus

More from #DTTT

  • influencer marketing
    In March we present:
    3 Takeaways Influencers can teach DMOs

    With new trends, algorithm changes, platform regulations and the continual evolution of consumer behaviour, influencer marketing is a powerful means to leverage your brand and tell your story in an authentic way, but are we nearing the end of the influencer marketing effect?

  • user generated content benefits
    In March we present:
    Changing Visitor Perceptions Through User-Generated Content

    User-generated content, also known as UGC, is somewhat invaluable in terms of a DMO’s content strategy, especially when it comes to challenging people’s perceptions.

    #user-generated #consumer generated #customer generated content #UGC #user generated content
  • High-engaging-cinemagraphs-feature
    In March we present:
    Creating Highly Engaging Visuals with Cinemagraphs

    At #DTTTCampus in Jersey last year, the workshop learnt how to create incredible cinemagraphs and how they can be used on DMO websites and social channels

    #cinemagraphs #content creator #content-creation
  • content marketing
    In February we present:
    How Visit Oslo Translates Values through Strong Content Marketing

    This year we’ve chosen to hold the event in Oslo for a number of reasons. Not only does this beautiful city have the most picturesque scenery with 40 islands and 343 lakes, it is also the European Capital 2019 and in the process of being certified as a sustainable destination.

  • Content-marketingtrends-feature
    In February we present:
    Content Marketing Trends all DMOs should consider in 2019

    A new year brings new trends, and in an ever-changing digital world it is important to keep up to date with the latest and greatest content marketing trends of the year because, content is still king!

  • campus-2019-why-oslo-feature
    In January we present:
    Why Visit Oslo in 2019

    This year, we are excited to be taking the fourth edition of #DTTTCampus to Oslo, the vibrant capital city of Norway.

Show more
© 2017 Digital Tourism Think Tank

Digital Tourism Think Tank logo imge