Features

I have seen the future of tourism, and it’s designed to keep you out

If beautiful places are to survive when the whole world is affluent, they’ll have to be reserved for a fortunate few

16 April 2016

9:00 AM

16 April 2016

9:00 AM

There are few more beautiful places in this world than Bhutan in the eastern Himalayas. I know this because, right now, I am staring down the sub-tropical Punakha valley, gazing at an untouched rural landscape where singing women hoe the sunlit chilli fields. It’s glorious. And gloriously devoid of tourists. Though apparently Prince William and Kate are coming here in the next couple of weeks. I hope they don’t lower the tone.

This unusual absence of tourists is down to a government policy. Back in the 1980s (when perhaps two dozen outsiders made it into Bhutan every year) the authorities in the Kingdom of the Thunder Dragon looked at the way tourism was blitzing its way across similar Asian beauties such as Nepal and Thailand, India and the Seychelles, and thought ‘not for us’. They decided to impose a surcharge on all foreign visitors to keep the numbers down and so preserve their culture.

The result of this steep fee — £200 a day simply to be in Bhutan — is that tourism makes barely a dent. Yes, 50,000 people now come every year rather than 15, but more people probably enter your local supermarket every Saturday than cross into Bhutan in a week. And this lack of tourists makes Bhutan very charming indeed.

Of course, this is unique. Surely Bhutan’s policy could never be applied in, say, Europe? Well, hmm. A couple of experiences last year, encountered in my fortunate job as a travel writer, made me wonder whether Bhutan might be an ominous pioneer, not an eccentric outlier.

My first epiphany came in Taormina. I was writing about the glories of western Sicily and the Aeolians, and I was particularly looking forward to Taormina. Loved in its time by Goethe, Wagner, Yeats, Oscar Wilde, D.H. Lawrence, this pearl of Sicily was once described by Ernest Hemingway as being so pretty ‘it hurts to look at it’.

Yet I loathed Taormina. Why? Because as soon as I stepped out of my hotel I was swamped, engulfed, drowned, swept away in a sea of Germans, Americans, Japanese and Brits. The hordes of trippers were so dense that people were literally queueing to get into the town, then queuing to walk down the main street, where they queued to take exactly the same photo. Eventually I gave up queueing to see queues, and nipped into the celebrated Hotel Timeo for a gin and tonic, which cost me £30.


In short: Taormina has been ruined by tourists. And as I sipped my ludicrously overpriced G&T, I realised that this ruination is spreading. And also that this situation cannot go on. We are running out of Europe. We are running out of world.

I’ve seen intolerable touristic overpopulation all over. A couple of years ago it took me two hours to drive five miles into St Tropez in high summer. Hideous. When I go to my native Cornwall it can take me 90 minutes to drive nine miles into St Ives. I’ve seen the same grisly crush in Florence, Capri and Venice, and the prettier villages of Provence, the Costa del Sol, the Algarve.

What’s more, the prospects aren’t brightening, thanks to the two mighty nations that border little Bhutan: China and India.

Right after Sicily I went to the Maldives. There I had some fascinating conversations with hotel managers. They told me they were being flooded with Chinese tourists (and to a lesser extent Russians). So much so, some resorts were using a form of racial filtering: they would allow, say, 30–40 per cent of the resort to be occupied by Chinese, and no more, otherwise the entire hotel would become a Chinese ghetto, and Europeans would refuse to book, changing the nature of the place. The managers were nonetheless very chirpy, because they had 100 per cent occupancy. Booked solid.

A couple of years ago China overtook America and Germany as the nation producing the most foreign tourists. This is because 500 million Chinese have recently been lifted into the middle classes (and hooray for that). And when they begin to use their new disposable income and their passports, what do they do? They all want to go abroad: to the very same destinations, those famous places celebrated in novels, movies and songs. They want to go to London, New York and Paris, they want to see the French Riviera and the sunnier parts of Italy, they want to see palm-fringed beaches of the Caribbean, Tahiti and the Maldives.

And it’s not like the Chinese are the end of it. Soon we’ll see an Indian tourist boom, which means another billion people pouring into Taormina. And why shouldn’t a billion Indians pour into Taormina? They’ve worked hard for their holidays, too.

Should this happen, Taormina would not just be ruined. It would become horrifying, even dangerous. But how do you stop this? It’s possible to make more wine to feed the Chinese lust for claret, but it isn’t possible to manufacture more Provence.

By the end of my autumnal travels, it occurred to me that there is one solution: the Bhutanese example. You ration travel, by time and money: you start to make people pay simply to get into cities, regions, nations. You put walls around towns and close the gates when your country is chocka.

It sounds ridiculous when you put it like that. Tickets to get into coastlines: a Bhutan of Europe. And yet this year, in one particularly lovely part of Italy, the Cinque Terre on the Ligurian coast, they are planning to do exactly that. Such is the yearly crush of visitors to these seaside villages, from cruise ships and bus tours, that they will be limiting the number of summer trippers to 1.5 million (2.5 million came last year). When that figure is reached, that’s it. They will shut the doors, and bar the roads and sea lanes. No one gets in apart from the locals.

What is the logical endpoint of this? Sitting here in Bhutan, I can tell you. We will go back to the past, when the best foreign travel was reserved entirely for the lucky, the wealthy and Prince William. In the future, enjoying a summer holiday in Tuscany might be like having Centre Court tickets for Wimbledon.

So make the most of that next trip to Biarritz or Bermuda, Croatia or Majorca. Because the era of demotic, free-for-all, go-where-you-like travel is coming to an end. The gates will soon be closing, just as they have on the beautiful Punakha valley, where the peasant girls sing their rustic love songs as they pick the rosy apples just in front of my $1,000-a-night five-star hotel.

Got something to add? Join the discussion and comment below.

You might disagree with half of it, but you’ll enjoy reading all of it. Try your first 10 weeks for just $10


Show comments
  • Jackthesmilingblack

    Tourism is a form of pollution.

    • Malcolm Knott

      Sadly true. I remember strolling up to Stonehenge in the 1950s. It was deserted. You could wander about and sit on the stones and, if you were really inquisitive, pick up a Ministry of Works pamphlet in the next village. Never again. Gone with the wind.

      • Jackthesmilingblack

        I remember that too. Really dates me.

  • Pierpaolo Paradisi

    The reasons of tourism … in Cinque Terre nobody will close the doors to tourists, that one you wrote about Cinque Terre it’s false, was only a proposal – http://www.theheartofcinqueterre.com

    • Father Todd Unctious

      Nice to see Vernazza back on its feet after the terrible floods

    • Ken

      I don’t see the relevance of this link, since it refers to a holiday cottage for rent. The problem is not with people who come to stay for a week or two – there are a limited number of houses to rent – but with large numbers of day trippers dropped off by cruise boats. These could be banned/limited. Similarly, access by car can be strictly controlled. But you can’t close the 5 Terre entirely – anyone can get on a train in Genoa and get off at the local station. In fact, the 5 Terre are striking but a little overrated. Gormless Americans discovered them when the NY Times raved about the area….

      • Pierpaolo Paradisi

        The link (I think and I believe) is relevant because it wants to explain that there is a part of the Cinque Terre completely unknown, full of accommodations, which are snubbed in favor of the main villages: only Vernazza has about 8 hamlets, including Prevo, you see in the link.
        The Cinque Terre are famous before NYT wrote, since 12 years ago, when Rick Steves has started to tell the story of this lands.
        The problem is not the cruises, the problem is the management policy, which takes a lot and gives little in return.

  • congreve

    Mass world tourism is a late twentieth-century affectation and may come to an end quite soon for reasons that have liitle to do with destination ring-fencing.

    Before South Africa was ‘discovered’ by transient mob tourism in recent decades it was unsullied by the madding tripper crowd and serene in its isolation by international obloquy. The ‘world in one country’ as they used to call it has subsequently become another hell-hole of touristic humanity, for they spoke truer than they knew.

    Who then, should be permitted to tour whom? Tourism was originally a component of the White Man’s Burden and should become so again. The Persons Sitting in Darkness should be encouraged to sit at home. Apartheid world tourism is the only way to go.

    • post_x_it

      Can you explain why (and how) you think that it “may come to an end quite soon”?
      For the foreseeable future I expect nothing but boundless expansion.

    • rtj1211

      What you mean is, you want you and your kind to be solely allowed to enjoy the earth’s bounty.

      What makes you so elite, so superior and so different to everyone else, eh?

      Other than your own pompous self-regard?!

  • notoftheleft

    Mass tourism and the horrific hoi polloi that comes with is making one destination after the other less and less attractive, and has reduced the world’s beauty spots to something akin to a zoo, where clueless, newly monied tourists from all over the world come and ogle at places they should never be allowed to set foot in in the first place. Cruise ships should be banned from places of outstanding natural beauty, with their hoards of gormless goons aboard-most of whom probably haven’t been let out of their cages since time began, who come ashore and visually pollute the ground they walk on, and cause the decay of every eating establishment they set foot in- if they ever indeed do. As for Tuscany? On some days during the summer, you’d be forgiven for thinking it was a stage set for Chevy Chase and his family for a remake of National Lampoon’s Vacation- and that’s just the European and particularly the American tourists I’m referring to. Florence has been reduced to a horrifically over-crowded open air museum, whereby you can barely walk anywhere near the centre.
    Alas I don’t share your optimism; money rules, it appears, and I don’t see it changing any time soon. The solution is to slap massive tariffs on tour operators outside Europe, to prevent the millions of people making their trip across the globe so they can affirm their place in middle class society.

    • Father Todd Unctious

      Huge taxes on aviation fuel. One of the biggest polluters.

      • notoftheleft

        A-ha! I hadn’t thought of that- price them out of being able to travel in the first place- genius!

      • thomas_paine2

        a myth, it really is.

      • mohdanga

        test

      • mohdanga

        How about high taxes on everything, that’ll solve the problem.

        • Father Todd Unctious

          Good point. You have hit the nail.

    • post_x_it

      A lot of the newly-minted tourist hordes don’t bother with tour operators any more, as the Japanese did when they swarmed in in the 80s.
      Most of them simply go on the internet and book a flight, a hotel and a rental car.

      • Jackthesmilingblack

        You might want to try that outfit “Scoot”. Plenty of leg room.

    • davidshort10

      I think you are probably a counter jumper who enjoys having these opinions and takes pleasure in despising the masses. I suspect you are one or them.

      • notoftheleft

        It’s not that I enjoy despising them, it’s a naturally occurring emotion that takes place automatically, just as it would when faced with someone of your nature- clearly I ruffled the ol’ feathers. And I have no idea what a counter jumper is- is that “masses speak”, perhaps?

        • Ken

          nothing wrong with despising the masses….

          • notoftheleft

            To put it succinctly, in the words of the great poet Horatio: “Odi profanum vulgus et arceo!”. Perhaps that’s a more refined way of expressing it

          • post_x_it

            I’m with Sartre. “L’enfer, c’est les autres.”

  • Tickertapeguy

    The example of Bhutan that highlights this article is telling.

    Right now the entire tectonic plate that makes up the subcontinent is releasing pressure that has built up for so long. The same relentless movement of this plate under the “Asian plate” is the result of two massive earthquakes in Nepal that killed around 8 thousand people in the last few months.

    Since then massive earthquakes have taken place from the Hindu Kush to Myanmar. The 3 thousand mile plus long plate has hundreds of pressure points.

    the release of pressure in one point increases the pressure in other points, causing a “domino” like affect. The Subcontinent plate is the fastest moving plate on the planet. The speed at which it is going under the Asian plate makes the Himalayas the fastest growing mountain range in the world.

    After the two earthquake in Nepal, Mount Everest actually lost a few centimeters. Now there are growing fissures in many of those mountains due to these earthquakes.

    A massive “big one” or several “big ones” are expected. They could happen tomorrow or 30 years from now. But when they do, they have the capacity to destroy some of those mountains.

    The death toll in the Gangetic plain to nations like Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh would be in the millions. Most of the buildings (both ancient and modern) would collapse instantly. The ancient Temples are basically constructed by stacking up boulders upon each other and carving out the structure. There are thousands of them.

  • davidshort10

    I expect the jihadis will solve the problem. They have already had an effect on tourism in East Africa, North Africa and West Africa.

  • rtj1211

    There are plenty of places you can go to the mountains without paying £200 a day. You just don’t need to be a sheep going to the latest place a journalist has had a freebie educational to in return for writing a gushing story…….

    • post_x_it

      I’m sure he knows that, but that’s hardly the point of the article.

    • Father Todd Unctious

      Try August in Swizzland. Interlaken is effectively a colony of Chinese. Casinos, Chinese restaurants, even the watch shops employ Chinese staff.

      • mohdanga

        I thought diversity was our strength??

        • Father Todd Unctious

          Swizzland is not diverse. It is full of Swiss, Chinese and a few Saudis.

  • Derek

    Hi, I am from Taormina, and I have read this article a couple of times, but just don’t see your point. Are you scared of people? What were you doing in Taormina the same day all other turists were here?Same thing they were doing? And so are you like them? Have you read Taormina turism stats? Our main historical site, the greek theatre, gets 1 mln visitors per year, way below your hipotetical “right number”. If you write of numbers, you should study them, then you should also study economy of the region you are visiting, to understand if it is possible to close towns just for few turists like you are not… I really think your article doesn’t make any logical sense, but I understand you are payed to write things like this… Just study a little bit more about places you are visiting, it will help you being a better blogger.

    • Ken

      Odd name for a Sicilian? but your English is pretty defective!

      • Derek

        Have you understood the meaning of my comment, despite my defective english? I leraned it talking to those americans, brits and dutch the article is talking about, but, since we are talking of Taormina, we can discuss it i italian, if you prefer, it will be easier for me. Can you comment the article, or you just focus all your attention on my nickname or my english? Fact is, this article is empity of contents, next time, lets discuss about people playing beachvolley on the beach of sicily, disturbing people relaxing on the sand, and about turist swinming on the ionian coast, disturbing yatch owner sailing the coast…

        • KingEric

          I think your defective English has caused confusion. It is not your home town of Taormina in Sicily that is limiting visitors, it is a town on the Ligurian coast, many, many miles from you that is proposing to do that. Therefore your point about the author not getting his numbers right is incorrect.

          • Derek

            In short: Taormina has been ruined by tourists. And as I sipped my ludicrously overpriced G&T, I realised that this ruination is spreading. And also that this situation cannot go on. We are running out of Europe. We are running out of world.

            I’ve seen intolerable touristic overpopulation all over. A couple of years ago it took me two hours to drive five miles into St Tropez in high summer. Hideous. When I go to my native Cornwall it can take me 90 minutes to drive nine miles into St Ives. I’ve seen the same grisly crush in Florence, Capri and Venice, and the prettier villages of Provence, the Costa del Sol, the Algarve.

          • Derek

            I am pasting what he wrote, in order to avoide defective english… You are still free to use defective interpretation by the way… And what about horde of screaming childrens visiting aecheological sites in europe? They should bring them to eurodisney!!!

          • KingEric

            You originally complained he had got his numbers about Taormina wrong. The numbers quoted in the article did not refer to Taormina. They referred to a different place. That was my point.

          • Derek

            And yes you are right about the stats, I got confused with that… Not with the solution, radical chic blogger, suggest, about european / sicilian turism… my defective bad! 😉

          • Dukeofplazatoro

            Derek, you are right, but also the author is showing a lack of imagination.

            Venice for example is always chock full of tourists but you can still find empty squares away from the main areas, even in summer and meet venetians. I went during the carnival some years ago, and stayed in an airbnb flat in a square where those I met in the bar every night were all locals (and it was freezing cold, and snowed!). He could go to Taormina out of season, he could go for a walking tour of Silcily, he could tour the restaurants and wineries, or do a whole host of things, but no he went to the main area where all the tourists were, and if he paid £30 for a G and T was either on expenses or has more money than sense

          • Derek

            Agree with you 🙂

          • Father Todd Unctious

            Ortygia in Siracusa is much less busy. Real Sicilian towns like Ragusa or Modica even better.

          • Father Todd Unctious

            St Ives is busier than most of Italy. One of the worst in Italy is Portovenere near La Spezia also Amalfi.

        • Father Todd Unctious

          I love Mazaro beach and the little town of Savona where they shot some of the Godfather movies. A lot of Brits loved Taormina, like Edward Lear, DH Lawrence and Bertrand Russell.

    • Father Todd Unctious

      I was in Taormina for a week last summer, I found it no busier than any Italian tourist city, Siena, Venice, Florence etc. Santa Margarita in Liguria and Sorrento get much busier.
      You are lucky to live in Taormina, Jim Kerr out of Simple Minds has a hotel at the top of the hill doesn’t he? Great views of Etna and of Giardini Naxos.

      • Derek

        😉 yes, Jim has an hotel named Villa Angela and have fantastic view 🙂

  • thomas_paine2

    You’re much happier going for ten days in Devonshire. Mass tourism is the brothel of travel.

    • Father Todd Unctious

      I was brought up in Devon. Life was one long holiday.

      • Tamerlane

        You weren’t.

        • Father Todd Unctious

          Of all the facts about me I am most sure of, where I was raised is at the head of the list. It is why I am so proud to be Devonian and not English. You give the English a bad name.

          • Tamerlane

            Nope, we’ve been down this road, you thought all horses the same size and farmers can sell their land for millions tomorrow and retire. A genuine country boy knows both these to be false.

            You went on holiday there once I suspect and quite liked it and thought it would be a good dimension for your online persona. You’re a town boy, I’ll bet a new town like Basingstoke or Milton Keynes. Next time do your research properly.

          • Father Todd Unctious

            I am a village boy. You were the idiot who thought horses couldn’t be small.

          • Tamerlane

            You can’t buy farmland for a £1 you dimwit, it’s worth more than that but I can get it for around £300 an acre absolutely no problem whatsoever, especially in Devon.

          • Father Todd Unctious

            There’s complete nonsense. Then there’s utter nonsense. Then there is the total no sense that spews from your brain.
            I am at a loss to comprehend why you insist on so many lies. But then we are where we are. A fool who lies. Tammy.

          • Tamerlane

            Nice try.

          • Father Todd Unctious

            Better than you could manage, certainly.

          • Tamerlane

            That’s for sure.

          • Father Todd Unctious

            Farmland currently averages £14,500 an acre. So every 70 acres is worth £1 million. Nobody suggested farmers retire. But it was you who claimed farmland was worthless as nobody wanted to buy it. Laughable.

          • Tamerlane

            Once again information, no knowledge.

            Not occurred to you there’s a reason they don’t all sell up and move to the Bahamas with their vast acreage of millions of pounds? Because its value is worthless on the whole and nobody would buy it. It’s why agents talk of land value, not land price. Again, genuine country boys understand that, townies who took an ice cream and hankie holiday there once don’t. What’s laughable is that even for a townie you would have thought the blinding stupidity of your position is obvious – if what you say is true then why don’t all the farmers sell up and live the life of Riley? The answer is because no one would buy their land. The land is worthless, much like your knowledge.
            Try YSBH, just try, it ain’t hard.

          • Father Todd Unctious

            So farmland is worthless and all the farm balance sheets should say zero. By extension you believe houses in the UK are worthless too, because if everyone tried to sell at the same time there would be too few buyers. Whst nonsense you are prepared to write just to have a go at me. You saddo.

          • Tamerlane

            Yes, I hear the Heathrow-Nassau flight is chocka these days for all the gazillionaire farmers clutching their suncream and speedos heading for a new life in the sun.

            Do get a grip.

  • avi15

    I get it. The author will doubtless be one of the lucky few. It’s the perfect solution – for him.

  • davidofkent

    The general consensus seems to be that tourism has helped the economy of many poorer countries. I suspect that the general consensus is wrong. I would say that tourism to poorer countries has helped enrich their elite at the expense of the lives of the poorer inhabitants. IMHO, we could do with less tourism. It largely involves lying in the sun and drinking alcohol and the latter can be done at home. It is certainly not a relaxation after the tourist has been through four airports on the way out and back in. A break from work could be better spent relaxing at home, visiting our own lovely areas for a day or two and just forgetting about work for a few days.

  • rosebery

    Happy to stay with the Balearics and the Canaries, as I have been since finally giving up collecting destinations about twenty years ago. There are still quiet, restful and far-from-the-madding-crowd places, even in a party-central place like Ibiza. It is, as is often the case, that parvenu, nouveau riche, arriviste upstarts have the money, but have not yet acquired the guidance as to what to do with it, so they go where everyone else does. I know, because I’ve done that. Nowhere lives up to its trailer. I live in the British city with the most tourists, other than London, and the ratio of tourists to population is even higher than the Smoke’s. In the summer it’s necessary to keep an eye out for the phalanx of Italian tourists armed with only one guide book, the caricature Americans and Antipodeans living up to their respective stereotypes and the day trippers from cruise ships, but it’s the price of living in a nice place and I’m happy with that.

    • ProfessorPistov

      Just curious. Where in Britain gets day trippers from cruise ships? The tourist trail is usually London, Oxford or Cambridge, Stratford-on-Avon and the Beatrix Potter Museum.

      • justejudexultionis

        Edinburgh, or maybe Stoke on Trent lol.

      • Father Todd Unctious

        ….and Bath. Don’t forget Bath.

  • Joanne White

    my dad could never understand why people went away to holiday when they have beauty on their doorstep. But then his doorstep was Jamaica.

  • Jacobi

    Tourists are a bunch of creeps. I live in a ghastly part of the world which for some reason or other seems to attract them. That confirms their odd mentality.

    Mark you my neighbours are split on this some 50/50. About half agree and would put it even more
    unpleasantly than my measured comment but the others, well I think they have connections with restaurants and so on.

    However we all have one thing in common, we all keep well away from the tourist areas when we
    can.

  • Wouldn’t it be nice if we too were able to shut out people we don’t want, keep our valleys empty of mass housing developments and “preserve our culture.” But, heh-ho, we’re only white trash, aren’t we, and our wishes are irrelevant. Make that not just irrelevant, but borderline criminal. Hang on to what you have, Bhutan, before the bustards come for you too.

    If you can spare ten minutes in this week, have a look at this, from the last brave man in England
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=WcqTka-_ZZw

    • mohdanga

      Isn’t that the case?? Whitey going overseas is “colonization”, “imperialism”, “hegemony”, “destructive”, but the enrichers coming here is a good thing. The West is finished.

      • Leon Wolfeson

        You want to finish the West, right.

  • george sanders

    A long time ago, Ernest Hemingway said he would never let anyone know where his favourite watering hole was – they all seemed to find it anyway… – and I am of the same opinion, if you find a nice restaurant or holiday site, do not even tell your friends as it will soon be ruined…

  • lostRunes

    Traveling in tour groups, no. traveling alone, yes. I am fortunate to live in age when air travel is affordable for us, the poor, dreamy, garbage-pit worthy nobodies. Another reason to hate the rich

    • Jackthesmilingblack

      Those cheap flights kicked in in the early ’70s, right?
      Which is why I took the TransSiberian “Express” on my first visit to Japan in 1970. Now there is one sad misguided soul who claims that was not possible for a Brit. But I did it, London to Yokohama with a night in Moscow. Terrible thing envy. It can turn a worthless non-entity into a truly obnoxious carpet chewing lunatic. Suck it up, nutter.

      • Father Todd Unctious

        Easyjet is celebrating 20 years in business.

      • lostRunes

        Well at least the poor have manners. Ad hominem will make you a respectable human being? I think not. Chew up your carpet.

  • Blackadder85

    you’re from Cornwall, just go there and enjoy man! Or Devon… why would you venture to taormina or rome?? their heyday dissolved a few decades ago

  • Anne Teoh

    What does Sean Thomas mean by , “the entire hotel would become a Chinese ghetto.” ? Quote evidence from his racist slur – ” So much so, some resorts were using a form of racial filtering: they would allow, say, 30–40 per cent of the resort to be occupied by Chinese, and no more, otherwise the entire hotel would become a Chinese ghetto, and Europeans would refuse to book, changing the nature of the place. ” He should be fined for intentional insult of the dignity of the Chinese tourist … he should not write for international travel for he obviously doesn’t have the impeccable qualification required in this field. But oh, he’s writing for the Spectator today.

  • Lenox Napier

    I live in a town in southern Spain, now converted into a tourist resort. Why? Because the local population want the money. They have a monopoly on the tourist shops and they own all the bars and restaurants, which they rent out to foreigners at ludicrous prices. They will even leave them empty rather than lower the rent. The foreigner who buys a house, stays (and in some modest way changes/perverts the community). The tourist leaves behind his modest contribution… and leaves again. However and apparently, I’m told that everyone has the right to two foreign holidays a year.

    • mohdanga

      The Chinese are buying up properties here in Canada (often with ill gotten gains from China), inflating the prices, letting many of them stand empty, bulldozing others, but it’s “racist” to say anything.

  • This is exactly what I have been talking about for years now! Thank you so much for this text. I am all for put some boundaries in tourism even this will limit my options as a traveler.
    The mass tourism always destroys a place. There is no point of laying here. Only a few places consciously made a plan to support a selective tourism. Some places create their campaigns so it reaches only selective group of travellers (i.e. highly educated, specialised in a niche, professionals etc.). Out of my experience, these places tend to be in difficult to reach, cold, not attractive to beach&sun type of tourists.
    The sad part is that some mainstream media participate in madness of mass tourism. I have recently criticised BBC Travel for doing that.
    http://nullnfull.com/2015/11/13/bbc/
    Remember: the biggest power a man has, is the power to limit himself.
    You don’t need to go EVERYWHERE and see EVERYTHING.

    • Father Todd Unctious

      Don’t just do something. Sit there.

  • Sithup

    Bhutan is there to give you more fresh air ,come and visit Bhutan!
    Happiness is a place!!!!

  • Stella

    As a frequest tourist myself, here are a few modest proposals to improve the enjoyment of your holiday, without resorting to misanthropy.
    1) Travel Independently – I am lucky enough (or otherwise) to take my summer holiday aboard a home-built yacht. We have sailed extensively in the Mediterranean but I have been horrified in recent years by the negative effects of mass cruising. Away from obvious beauty spots I have stood aghast as a gigantic cruise liner docks on the quay of a tiny town such as Alesund in Norway, Cartagena in Spain or Koper in Slovenia, disgorging thousands of passengers who disrupt and distort the dynamic of the place. It can’t be much of an authentic experience for the cruisers either.
    2) Travel Out Of Season – I really enjoy occasional city breaks (often on my own) in northern Europe during the winter months. You can enjoy the sights of Scandinavia in the snow, the fascinating cities of Germany, Poland or the Baltic States from January to March, knowing that they are well-equipped to welcome visitors, whatever the weather.
    3) Avoid Busy Visitor Times (if possible) – We’re Just back from the Washington DC, where websites for popular attractions often include a Gant Chart illustrating the busiest periods of the day for visitors. Early and late are often the best times for an uncrowded visit to one of the (free-entry) Smithsonian Museums. Elsewhere I note that European museums who charge entry fees, such as the Prado in Madrid, have free entry in the early evening, several days a week.

Close