Tourists are being urged to rethink their travel bucket lists in a bid to combat ‘overtourism’ in key destinations.
The call came today from sustainable company Responsible Travel which wants to see people move on from the habit of ticking off popular experiences and seek out “brave, alternative adventures”.
Travellers are being encouraged to seek alternatives to the usual hot spots and instead consider different destinations and activities, away from the crowds.
Ideas include small ship cruising; visiting hill tribes in Thailand and Vietnam; avoiding fake snow making by taking alternative winter breaks such as cross country skiing; wild whale watching in destinations such as the Azores and wild safaris in Africa on foot using local guides.
The company’s CEO Justin Francis said: “2017 marked a turning point in tourism, with local communities and tourists complaining about the negative impacts of too many tourists.
“Dubbed ‘overtourism’, this irresponsible tourism has become an issue in the Orkneys, Venice and at least 20 other reported destinations.
“It is up to all of us as travellers, travel companies, destination managers, writers and travel lovers worldwide to help carve out a new destiny for tourism by listening to local people.
“This is about a total change of mindset for all of us. We need to free ourselves from the restraints of crowd-following and bravely seek out our own alternative adventures.
“We have seen an increase in this type of travel at Responsible Travel. Ultimately, this is where the magic of travel really lies.”
He added: “I hope the holiday stories we hear next summer are not riddled with incensed locals, intrusive tourists and indifferent governments but instead, stories of local people feeling a genuine sense of benefit and of travellers feeling enriched and inspired by the adventures and encounters they’ve had.”