Going to Routes Beyondbecause of Overtourism!
Travel, and hence interaction between different peoples is surely, overwhelmingly, a good thing from many viewpoints, particularly in avoidance of conflict due to knowledge and affinity.
Had mass tourism been around, World War 1 would likely not have happened!
Today, there are different problems, in a few famous , but in total not that many, places. Most places are not always overrun with tourists, but a few are busy all year and many are seasonally overrun. Whilst New York, London or Sydney welcome millions of visitors, their size and transportation systems means they can absorb large numbers without overwhelming the resources and local populations, other than at a few well know sights.
Problems arise in places such as Venice, Dubrovnik and Caribbean ports when cruise ships arrive for example. The entrepreneurial spirit, then perhaps, greed or desperation of locals, starts to kill the very thing people come to see. Next, local citizens react, as they have done in Venice where the very physical survival of their city is threatened by cruise ships and their passengers.
That Perfect Post
One of the drivers of congestion at major tourism sights is that desire to get that perfect post and selfie. Research shows that people are infleunced by what they see on social media and want to have that same Instagram post with the same background as ‘social media infleuncers’. So what happens is that we have created ‘honeypots’ of must see, or do sights that too many want to do.
Travel is not about just competing with other travelers but more about seeing and understanding a destination and I think, in having a background to your post where the reaction is ‘oh, where is that?’.
Beyond the Cruise Port
I was recently in Finland in late July, early August. I was struck by how few tourists there were exploring, enjoying or learning about Finland. There were a few Germans in several places and I saw a few Russian cars.
The exception? On the harbour front in Helsinki; the market area was absolutely packed, as was the Senate Square, an area which is within a few yards of where the cruise boats dock. Go another few hundred yards and the neighborhoods, museums, shops etc returned to normal activity. Go outside Helsinki and there are almost no non Finnish tourists. This is a good example of the distortion that some types of tourism can cause.
Routes Beyonds highlights those places mostly beyond the crowds and even in popular places endeavours to show the less well known times or aspects. All with the goal of understanding more and digging deeper into the destination.