Managing Overtourism: A Balancing Act for Locations That Requires Nuanced Information


Broadly talking, the success of a vacation spot is judged by the variety of guests it welcomes in a given timeframe. Within the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, locations are, basically, extra decided than ever to draw giant numbers of vacationers, which is why our Most Visited Locations report focuses on the yr’s most-visited locations.

Nonetheless, extra shouldn’t be at all times higher, and you will need to bear in mind the problems of overtourism many locations have been dealing with earlier than the worldwide well being disaster emerged. Actually, as increasingly more world areas strategy full journey restoration, the subject of overtourism as soon as once more occupies a excessive place on the journey business agenda. That’s why on this article we focus on what locations can do to higher handle overtourism.

Overtourism – a tough idea to outline

As an idea, overtourism is relative and extremely subjective, with one vacation spot’s understanding of the time period probably differing considerably from one other’s. Even inside a single vacation spot, what one social gathering considers too many vacationers, one other might even see as the best quantity, and even not sufficient.

Locations that entice a excessive variety of vacationers are inclined to develop in such a method that guests are higher catered for. For instance, common metropolis break locations often have a big supply of chain resorts and eating places in addition to memento retailers. In response to residents and organisations involved with preserving heritage, these companies could harm the town’s identification and contribute to overcrowding in central areas. Regardless of this, they often turn out to be an necessary financial contributor – to such an extent that when vacationers should not visiting, the town suffers financially.

The evolving duties and necessities of the fashionable DMO

It’s the duty of the fashionable vacation spot advertising and marketing organisation (DMO) to contemplate the wants of all stakeholders and stability financial imperatives with social and environmental considerations. The query is how – as a result of, clearly, a DMO doesn’t have the authority to determine which companies are licensed to function at its vacation spot; nor can it management who lets their flat out to vacationers by way of Airbnb, driving up hire within the space.

However, DMOs do have the facility to affect the governmental departments chargeable for managing such issues.

The important thing right here is knowledge. For example, the place vacationer arrival figures help the complaints of residents and heritage organisations concerning overcrowding in a sure space, DMOs can current this data to the related authority, which can then impose limits on purposes for brand spanking new tourist-focused companies and/or vacation leases within the space.

There are additionally points {that a} DMO can affect extra straight. Residents of many European locations complain that their metropolis is overrun with teams of drunk and noisy vacationers, typically celebrating stag or hen events. This can be a frequent downside in Amsterdam, for instance. In such circumstances, knowledge on traveller profiles can be utilized to determine these guests, who usually journey in giant teams and spend quick intervals on the vacation spot. The place this sort of vacationer contains a big proportion of a vacation spot’s viewers, the DMO can focus its advertising and marketing efforts on selling different elements of the vacation spot that entice a special form of vacationer – ideally one with increased buying energy who’s extra more likely to partake in cultural actions.

Equally, the place the information reveals that particular components of a vacation spot are affected by overcrowding by mass tourism, the DMO can focus its efforts on publicising less-visited areas and sights to distribute vacationers’ social, environmental and financial impression extra evenly.

Nonetheless, overtourism relates not solely to the profile of vacationers and the areas they frequent but in addition to the time of yr they have an inclination to go to. Certainly, unchecked seasonality may cause social and environmental points as a consequence of overcrowding in peak seasons, whereas in low seasons, it will probably go away a vacation spot sorely missing in tourism income. Subsequently, the place arrivals knowledge exhibits important spikes at sure intervals and appreciable drop-offs at others, the DMO ought to shift its focus to selling a steadier movement of tourists all year long. Within the case of a conventional seashore vacation spot like Málaga, Spain, for example, this may occasionally imply drawing consideration to a much less weather-dependent facet of its providing, equivalent to close by heritage websites, museums, nature trails or nationwide parks.

Implementing the fitting technique to fight overtourism

The village of Siurana in Catalunya supplies a great instance of how locations can handle the impression of tourism. The historic group, which is residence to stunning nature websites and a number of the world’s most difficult climbs, has lately refused to be included within the checklist of most stunning villages and cities in Spain, adopting a sustainable, quality-over-quantity strategy to tourism because it lacks the capability and infrastructure to help giant numbers of tourists. Tourism-focused companies, such because the native bar, lodge and campsite, agreed with this response.

Siurana exhibits how DMOs, village or city planners and native companies can work collectively to agree on the perfect strategy for his or her vacation spot. Whereas this instance considerations a small village, the identical methodology must be utilized at a bigger scale to handle overtourism in cities.

Nonetheless, ForwardKeys understands that discovering inventive options to overtourism is less complicated stated than completed, which is why knowledge is so necessary to the fashionable DMO. Slightly than merely responding to developments and hoping that response proves profitable, DMOs want to observe the scenario frequently to make sure their carried out insurance policies are making the specified impression – and react accordingly if not.

Journey intelligence based mostly on dependable knowledge is key to this strategy. Request a demo or obtain the total report right here and uncover which different journey tendencies formed 2022.