Tourism is a lucrative business for many countries in the world. In fact, for many, it’s the main foreign exchange earner. In such a case, it’s very important that the tourism industry remains afloat. However, of late, many famous tourist destinations are not facing low business and empty tourist hotels as their main challenge. On the contrary, tourists are flocking into these destinations in their millions, with the numbers rising each passing year.
What was once a blessing is now slowly turning into a curse. The local communities around these famous tourist destinations are bearing the blunt of these huge numbers. Over-tourism refers to a situation where tourism activities and numbers overwhelm the local community and cause conflict. A lot of destinations are suffering from this situation, and here’s some of the most affected.
Morocco is one of Africa’s most famous tourist destinations, more so the city of Marrakech. This is a city whose total population has doubled in a decade thanks to the growth of tourism, with the number of tourists visiting the country growing ten times over in the same period of time to more than 10 million a year. Initially, this tourist boom brought a lot of sustainable business to the locals.
Over time however, it has caused a strain in resources and infrastructure. The cost of basic goods and housing has continued to hike over the years on account of the large tourist numbers, affecting the locals who have to survive on their non-increasing salaries. With the thousands of tourists who flock Marrakech daily, it’s nearly impossible to experience the local life as the foreigners outnumber the locals. Tourists love Marrakech for its exoticism, but the locals may not be feeling too hot about it after all.
Bali became a famous tourist spot for being a place where one could escape from the daily stresses in life. Lush nature and pristine beaches provided a peaceful place to forget your troubles, after which you could join the local people and learn a few ancient traditions and rituals.
As Bali’s popularity grew the tourists flocked in their millions and this peaceful ambience is now a constant mayhem. The lush nature has been overtaken by large hotels and modern shopping malls, while the beaches are usually overcrowded. The city’s traffic is congested and the levels of pollution are worrying. To get a feel of what made Bali a tropical destination of choice in the first place, you’d have to venture away from the island’s capital into remote beaches found in the northern parts.
The Uluru, otherwise known as Ayers Rock, is a natural attraction found in the middle of the Australian desert. It’s a red rock believed to be millions of years old, which juts at 1,142 feet from the desert’s sand. The Uluru is a scared site of the local indigenous people, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. However, most of the 300,000 people who visit this site daily disrespect that fact. Tourists have been defacing the rock and ruining culturally significant engravings and paintings with their own carvings. Some have even been defecating, leaving trash and generally vandalizing the rock, which is outright disrespect to.
the local community.
The indigenous Aboriginal community has requested a ban that prevents visitors from climbing the sacred rock. Local authorities have finally agreed to ban climbing, and tourists will not be allowed to climb the rock beginning October 2019.
These three destinations are just case studies of what over-tourism has caused. Local authorities should be more strict about the numbers allowed in these places and look for ways to protect the interests of the locals to stop this glaring trend.