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UN releases report on how to curb ‘overtourism’

/ 09:59 PM September 18, 2018

La Rambla, Barcelona. Image: venakr/Istock.com via AFP Relaxnews

The United Nations has released a guidebook for cities like Amsterdam, Barcelona and Lisbon on how to manage the effects of overtourism.

It’s become the buzzword in the travel industry in recent years, used to denote destinations that have suffered negatively from the effects of overcrowding, reducing the quality of life for locals and the travel experience for tourists.

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The topic was also one of the key themes of the U.N. World Tourism Organization’s Global Summit on Urban Tourism, currently being held in Seoul, South Korea.

To better understand the phenomenon, researchers studied eight European cities where overtourism has become a hot topic: Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin, Copenhagen, Lisbon, Munich, Salzburg and Tallinn.

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Developing tourist activities outside the city center and popular tourist attraction; promoting experiences during off-peak months; and using new technologies like real-time apps to monitor crowd sizes at popular attractions are among some of the 11 strategies and 68 measures identified in the report.

Other recommendations include reviewing opening times of visitor attractions; creating specific drop-off zones for tourist buses to avoid traffic congestion; and producing city guides that highlight hidden, off-the-beaten-path attractions.

According to UNWTO stats, international tourist arrivals are expected to grow by 3 percent annually, reaching 1.8 billion tourists by 2030. JB

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TAGS: Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, United Nations, UNWTO
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