Hello and welcome! This week I want to talk about how to beat Mass Tourism. About how it hurts communities, how stupid it is and how I am baffled away by the ignorance of not only individuals but of a whole bunch of people. I will also give you some tips on how to tackle this toxic way of tourism and how you can improve the locals’ situation.
I have been talking about the role and the responsibility of influencers before but in my opinion, they are only on half of the problem. The “influencers” might set the example, but the real problem are the people that follow this example. Ruthless.
It is a problem that often hits small communities that are simply not prepared for. A certain place gets famous, often due to Instagram, and rather sooner than later it gets overrun by tourists all trying to get their shot. A major problem is, that those places often can’t provide the infrastructure that you would need to handle a ton of people.
On top of that we are a species that can’t really behave. Somehow they get to behave disrespectful and destroy everything in their way, especially what is the most fragile. There are countless reports on people destroying nature, such as lavender fields, tulips fields, poppy fields and so much more. We all need to take responsibility and stick to certain rules, if we don’t want to be hated for taking pictures.
10 Tips to Not Contribute to Mass Tourism
1. Try to Visit Places, That You Never Heard of or That You Never Saw on Instagram Before.
Everyone loves to go to Paris, I know I know. But Paris is a city packed with tourists from all corners of the earth. But when I visited Riga back in 2018 I was overwhelmed, how empty the streets were. You could see all the sights without having to line up and it was so much more interesting to learn more about a country I heard only a few times before.
2. Don’t Only Visit a Place Because You Want to Take Pictures
Don’t fall for the Instagram traps. Just because a place is heavily promoted on Instagram, you might be disappointed when you see it in real life. When we were at the rice fields in Bali, we were surprised to find a place that was heavily littered.
The consequence from it is to rethink why you travel. Do you want to experience a place? Learn more about it and its people? Are you going there with open eyes and open heart? Or is your main goal to get the best instagram shots? If the answer is the least, you should maybe do some meditation and think about your traveling habits.
3. Skip Peak Season
If you want to visit a place that is harmed by Masstourism and usually crowded, don’t go there during peak season. Usually those places are lesser visited from October to March.
For example, I went to Santorini in March and it was wonderful as everything was empty and I had all the beaches and Oía to myself. Same goes with Jordan which we felt like exploring on our own.
4. Don’t be a Jerk by Disrespecting Other People’s Property
Sometimes you can’t chose the time you go on vacation. Of course, when you only have a limited time frame, you can’t just skip the peak season. But hey, I can still make a tip out of that one.
If you get to visit such a place during peak season, behave respectful. Do not climb houses or churches, don’t litter and please don’t be a jerk. Would you like people to walk on your house. Don’t like the thought? Well Einstein, then do not in any case disrespect other people’s property.
5. Don’t Overindulge in Photoshoots
Even if it is a wonderful thing and a hobby I dearly love, sometimes excessive photoshootings in front of famous sight are a little bit annoying.
The best way is to keep it short and simple. Practice your poses and your perfect twirl and get your shot fast enough. I know creativity is something that takes some time but hey, it is very likely that you are not the only one waiting for get their chance. Prepare your ideas before going to that place and then hit it. But maybe faster than usually.
6. Visit Sights as Early as You Can
If you want to buy yourself some extra time at a sight, try to shoot early in the morning. You will have no crowds in your pictures and won’t annoy anyone too much. This way you won’t be contributing in peak times.
7. Follow the Damn Signs
Signs are there for a reason. If there is a sign that you shouldn’t go closer to the edge of a cliff, then please stay away. Do you really want to become one of those stories of people dying because of taking a selfie? No not really.
Super easy. Do as the signs tell you. Don’t walk behind fences and stay off dangerous edges.
8. Follow the Damn Rules
Signs to not only show you boarders but also rules. It could be that you shouldn’t use a flashlight. Or that you shouldn’t go closer to any animal. Or that you are not allowed to walk certain areas. Easy as pie. Stay on the tracks and take nothing but photographs and leave nothing at best.
9. Make Sure to Share Your Experience in an Honest Way
If you find a place that actually disappointed you, make sure to tell your friends and followers. Do not try to draw a perfect of a place that doesn’t exist this very way. Try to picture reality and not a phantasy. Otherwise you will only trick more people in being disappointed and visiting a place that got damaged from all the persons visiting it. If we see how much our actions damage our destinations, we are one step closer to beat Mass Tourism. For example I did a brutal honest review on Bali and why I think you shouldn’t travel to it now.
10. Educate Others
The last tip is also a bold one but it might be the most important when trying to beat mass tourism. It takes up the most courage but please if you see someone misbehaving, speak up. Be brave and bold and tell them that they are hurting someone or something. You don’t need to be aggressive but just don’t stand there doing nothing, while you speaking up could be thing that could stop someone.
These are my tips on how to beat mass tourism. All in all I just want to say that we just have to stop to behave like unsupervised kids and start to travel like adults. With no harm to local people, animals or culture.
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Edward3 years ago
I went to Riga in February, it’s amazing how empty the streets were! There were about 5 other tourists in the whole city!
Jen3 years ago
These are really important. Great post! I’m curious if this will be a big issue when the current situation is over and everyone is able to travel again!
Melissa3 years ago
Great tips! Over-tourism is a huge issue and we can see the damaging effects on the environment, it is such a shame. You gave lots of great tips and ideas to help reduce the negative impact. I always love trying to go places that are off the beaten path and when I do go to the popular destinations do everything I can to prevent harm to the environment. I always love when I see people bringing trash bags with them on a hike to help clean up the area.
Amy3 years ago
Great guide! I love getting up early and exploring a new place when it’s quiet and only the locals are around! 🙂
Trisha3 years ago
These are wonderful tips! I’ve always been one to travel the road less traveled through life, and I try my best to do so while on vacation too. You can’t tell me people enjoy visiting someplace where they’re packed in like sardines!
Jacquie3 years ago
Some great things to bear in mind – thanks. It’s crazy how Instagrammers are all over the place now when I never really noticed them before. We always like to get off the beaten track and away from the crowds.