Overtourism impacts destinations across the globe

The pandemic forced people to embrace the hermit lifestyle. Then, in 2023, travel came back with a vengeance. The phenomenon was dubbed revenge travel, in which people reclaimed lost pandemic time by taking notably exotic and elaborate trips. But many destinations struggled to manage the heightened influx of tourists, and some governments actively took measures to limit the quantity of visitors. The lesson: Overtourism can be just as harmful as undertourism to a community, causing environmental destruction and pressure on local communities and resources. 

More is not always merrier

The term “overtourism” is fairly new. It describes “too many people in one place at any given time,” according to National Geographic. The exact number constituting “too many” varies from place to place, of course. “An accumulation of economic, social and environmental factors determine if and how numbers are creeping up,” the outlet explained. 

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