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No Excuses

The Atlantic: Too Many People Want to Travel

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Late in May, the Louvre closed. The museum’s workers walked out, arguing that overcrowding at the home of the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo had made the place dangerous and unmanageable. “The Louvre suffocates,” the workers’ union said in a statement written in French, citing the “total inadequacy” of the museum’s facilities to manage the high volume of visitors.

 

Half a world away, a conga line of mountaineers waited to approach the summit of Mount Everest, queued up on a knife’s-edge ridge, looking as if they had chosen to hit the DMV at lunchtime. A photograph of the pileup went viral; nearly a dozen climbers died, with guides and survivors arguing that overcrowding at the world’s highest peak was a primary cause, if not the only one.

 

Such incidents are not isolated. Crowds of Instagrammers caused a public-safety debacle during a California poppy super bloom. An “extreme environmental crisis” fomented a “summer of action” against visitors to the Spanish island of Mallorca. Barcelona and Venice and Reykjavik and Dubrovnik, inundated. Beaches in Thailand and Mexico and the Philippines, destroyed. Natural wonders from the Sierra Nevadas to the Andes, jeopardized. Religious sites from Cambodia to India to Rome, damaged.

 

This phenomenon is known as overtourism, and like breakfast margaritas on an all-inclusive cruise, it is suddenly everywhere. A confluence of macroeconomic factors and changing business trends have led more tourists crowding to popular destinations. That has led to environmental degradation, dangerous conditions, and the immiseration and pricing-out of locals in many places. And it has cities around the world asking one question: Is there anything to be done about being too popular?

 

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/06/crowds-tourists-are-ruining-popular-destinations/590767/?utm_source=pocket-newtab

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To this topic, what I posted in the Galapagos thread:

 

 

And this:

 

Disaster Tourists Are Flocking to Chernobyl, Thanks to HBO Series

 

At the site of what is arguably the most horrific accidental nuclear explosion in history, tourism is booming.

 

The success of HBO's dramatic series "Chernobyl" seems to have boosted the region's tourism industry, with leaders of guided tours to Chernobyl claiming that bookings have increased by about 40% compared to last year, Reuters recently reported.

 

HBO debuted the first episode of "Chernobyl" on May 6. By the end of the month, Ukrainian tour company SoloEast saw a 30% rise in tourists compared to May 2018, and bookings for June, July and August are up by about 40%, company director Sergiy Ivanchuk told Reuters. [5 Weird Things You Didn't Know About Chernobyl]

 

After the Chernobyl reactor exploded in 1986, radioactive particles quickly dispersed into the surrounding area and approximately 200,000 people were evacuated and relocated. Authorities declared a so-called exclusion zone covering 18 miles (30 kilometers) around the site of the explosion, and the abandoned towns remain uninhabited to this day.

 

But in 2010, the exclusion zone was opened to tourists and Ukrainian officials declared that any lingering radiation was "negligible." Since then, Chernobyl tourism has grown in popularity, and the HBO series may have sparked even greater interest in the blighted destination, tour guide Viktoria Brozhko told Reuters.

 

"Radiation makes the zone particularly interesting," Ukrainian tour company Chernobyl Tour says on its website in a description of their company's one-day tour package. 

 

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Most of these places asked tourists to come.  They set out to attract money their way and damned if it didn’t pack a suitcase and fly or float right to them.  Nearly miraculous, when you think about it, but as many small businesses discover (the fortunate ones anyway), success breeds it’s own set of challenges.  Customers are never uniformly pleasant people to deal with in any enterprise.

 

Taxes to keep things neat and tidy makes a lot of sense.  Especially to stop or repair any damage tourists are doing.  If the tourists ruin the pristine beaches or oddly shaped rocks or whatever pretty thing tourism marketing departments are convincing middle class Iowans is worth going into debt to see for themselves, the tourists may stop coming.  Now that, would really be a disaster.  

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