May 20, 2024

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Mass tourism: Here are 5 places to avoid during summer vacations

Mass tourism: Here are 5 places to avoid during summer vacations

Some places that are especially popular with travelers should be avoided in summer. Here are five sites affected by the concentration of tourists in France, Europe and internationally, according to the site Responsible Travel, which has drawn up an interactive map of sites facing this phenomenon of overtourism.

Taking center stage again after the resumption of post-Covid tourism activities, the phenomenon of overtourism or “overtourism” is affecting many destinations across the planet. The French government unveiled a plan in mid-June to regulate the flows that overwhelm tourist sites in France at certain times of the year, with the Responsible Travel site listing more than a hundred worldwide.

A figure that represents only the “tip of the iceberg,” according to the site, which relied on online research citing cases of overtourism before and after the pandemic to draw the list. Among them, many places, including Mont-Saint-Michel, are classified as UNESCO heritage, especially invested by crowds of travelers in the summer. Better to find them at other times of the year to make full use of them.

Mont-Saint-Michel in France

It is taken by storm every year and 2023 could mark a historic return as the abbey church of Mont-Saint-Michel celebrates its millennium this year. Last year, 2.8 million visitors, on August 18, 2022, more than 36,000 tourists were counted there in one day. Attendance registration raises many questions, including establishing quotas.

Note that in France, the creeks of Etretat and Marseille are also very crowded in summer. A quota policy came into effect last year, and was renewed this summer, limiting access to 400 people a day, at the topographical site of the Calanque de Sugiton. Last June, Ile de Bréhat also set a quota, this time at 4,700 passengers per day.

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Venice in Italy

Off-season is also important to enjoy Venice. Serenissima, which was overrun by tourists before Covid, is considering stricter measures such as introducing a tax on all-day tourists from 2019. Postponed several times, it could come into effect as early as 2025, according to the e-venice site. Meanwhile, the City of the Doges, which welcomes an average of 25 to 30 million tourists a year, with its St. Mark’s Square and its canals is all the more delicious in spring, autumn or winter.

Dubrovnik and Croatia

Dubrovnik is also a symbol of tourism. A Croatian city hit by cruise ships before the health crisis has reopened tourism, drawing scores of travelers to walk the streets of its medieval town, classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. To avoid the mistakes of the past, the town hall has implemented several measures, for example, limiting the number of visitors from cruise ships to 4,000 per day, recalls TourMag. But to take full advantage of the city, whose appeal has also been boosted by the “Game of Thrones” series, partly filmed in the city, it’s better to prefer seasons other than summer.

Machu Picchu in Peru

Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1983, Machu Picchu is the most visited site in Peru. Built in the 15th century and discovered by American explorer Hiram Bingham in 1911, the influx of people has caused years of erosion in this Inca city.

To protect the site, located at an altitude of 2,400 meters, the number of tourists increased from 200,000 in 1987 before the epidemic to over 1.5 million in 2019. After protests from tourists, it increased to 5,000 daily entries last August. This year, the daily limit of 4,000 tourists comes back into force.

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Maya Bay in Thailand

Maya Bay on the island of Phi Phi Leh, Thailand, epitomizes overtourism from the movie ‘The Beach’ starring Leonardo DiCaprio. In 2018, the site was closed to the public for three years after an overcrowding of tourists — 6,000 to 5,000 a day — damaged coral beds. Reopened to tourists in early 2022, its access is limited to around 400 tourists daily. From August 1 to September 30, 2022, it was closed again to protect its environment, media outlet Pattaya reported. Thailand is full of heavenly places and it is better to love other beaches of the country this summer.