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Or simple overcrowding of popular sights is a worrying trend.  It is partially caused by the wonderful affordability of travel to more, but also the concentration on a few ‘mega places’ that social media has popularized.

Think Machu Picchu, the terminal damage being done to Venice by cruise ships, Amsterdam or the Taj Mahal.  Everyone wants a simple Selfie!

At the same time exploration of lesser known places, often near to those ‘honeypots’, has in many cases declined or is stable.


Read about a New York Times article on Overtourism.

Death by Selfie

Do a search of Death by Selfie and the scale of the epidemic becomes apparent.

It is the second part to the story.  That desire to be seen, in a recognizable preferably glamorous place and be able to post it to Social Media.

The consequences are many but 2 (apart from odd fatal accident) are apparent to me:

  • overcrowding/overtourism of a few key sights
  • less interest and creativity is seeing the vast number of equally interesting places

This was brought home to me recently.  I was walking across the famous Brooklyn Bridge.  It was absolutely crowded with tourists, progress was slow.  Some standing precariously, on the guardrails, taking, yes of course Selfies.  Shortly afterwards I walked across the adjacent Williamsburg Bridge.  It was empty apart from a few commuters.  Yet the views are equal or better ( you can see the Brooklyn Bridge!) but one is an interest sensation and the other, not so.

Take the Willamsburg!

Routes Beyond 

A goal of Routes Beyond is simply to point out some of the fascinating places I have come across in my quest to understand places and people around the world.   You can then play your part in meeting people from other cultures and backgrounds, building bridges between people and to ‘walk a mile in another persons shoes’.  An idyllic grass roots goal I do appreciate!



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