"Venice has become a victim of its own success" - Sound familiar?
Bill Hocker | Mar 7, 2018
The Gardian 3/7/18: Europe's beauty spots plot escape from the too-many-tourists trap
The solution proposed by a tourism conference in Berlin? Spread it out. Rather than being overwhelmed by tourists at peak periods, have constant tourists at every location at all times. This is a tourism industry solution to the very real impacts that tourism is having on residential communities all over the world. And, in fact, it is the solution that Napa County takes with Visit Napa Valley. When I asked Mark Luce why the county spends millions of dollars on Visit Napa Valley each year to attract more tourists, he said that it's not about attracting more, but in spreading out the tourism by promoting visitation in off-months and off-hours. What it really does is to promote filling up the level of tourism at all times to match the overwhelming tourism at peak periods. And, of course, to increase the tourism urbanization that threatens the rural small town quality of life in the county, impacts not so different to those being felt, and fought, around the world.
The Local (Italy) 7/4/17: Venice residents protest against tourist influx
NYT 8/2/17: Venice, Invaded by Tourists, Risks Becoming ‘Disneyland on the Sea'
George Caloyannidis sends over this link to the latest in Venice:
The Telegraph (UK) 6/12/17: Venice bans new hotels as crackdown on tourism continues
Which also references their article on Amsterdam: Amsterdam has become ‘unlivable’ as residents fight back to stop ‘Disneyfication’ of city (When it comes to wine tourism, the term of art is 'Napafication', and the negative impacts are just as onerous). And more recently the resistance is becoming aggressive: DailyMail (UK) 8/2/17: Majorca is hit by anti-tourism protesters
The international uprising of locals against the unwanted impacts of tourism has been building for some time, as chronicled in this 2015 article in the NY Times.
It is interesting to look at the ratio of yearly tourists to residents to ask if there is some breaking point at which rebellion occurs. Venice is the extreme example: 20 mil tourists/yr and 265,000 residents (including suburbs) or 75 tourists/resident/yr. (Just
look at this graph to see what the "success" of post-war tourism has done - and can still do - to a resident population, a goal that the tourism industry might prefer.)
Compare this to the other cities mentioned in the articles that have been experiencing tourism backlash:
Charleston: 38.4 tourists/resident
New Orleans: 27 tourists/resident
Ankor Wat 9.1 tourists/resident
Amsterdam: 6.5 tourists/resident
Barcelona: 4.4 tourists/resident
Berlin: 2.6 tourists/resident
Copenhagen: 1.5 tourists/resident
Buthan: 0.3 tourists/resident (a ratio that any place wishing to maintain its quality-of-life should strive for)
And now look at the growing discontent with tourism in Napa County which is currently at 24.6 tourists/resident. (Sonoma County is at 14 tourists/resident)
While it seems there is no universal magic trigger point at which resident anger over the threat to the character of their communities becomes actionable, clearly Napa residents, having moved firmly into the double-digit tourist-to-resident category, have begun to realize that a crisis is at hand.
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