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Mass tourism: these places that have raged – World

Venice, Santorini, Machu Picchu… By typing the names of these places into a search engine, you get travel advice and idyllic photos, without mentioning that the postcard could be anything other than a success. However, tourist attendance is identified as a problem. The passage of a phenomenal number of people generates nuisance and, sometimes, deterioration, leading to more or less drastic measures. The measures are often complicated, given the economic resources linked to the visits.

In Austria, an anti-photo sign

Latest example to date that attracts attention: Halstatt, Austria. The traditional houses and the lake give an air of Disney to the landscape, since this place looks like a village from the cartoon “The Snow Queen”. The municipality has therefore decided to install a sign obstructing the most emblematic view of the place, hoping that this will discourage visitors.

The landscape of the village of Hallstatt and its lake, 300 km from Vienna, are classified as World Heritage by Unesco. (EPA-EFE/ERDEM SAHIN)

Controlled arrivals in Santorini

In Santorini, the sunset atmosphere is anthill. Every year, the Greek island welcomes several million visitors. Infrastructure is struggling to keep up, just as housing is lacking for locals, reports Le Monde. In recent years, arrivals by boat have been limited, as has access to certain sites. Other more drastic measures are being considered.

Complicated limitations in Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu, in Peru, embodies these sites threatened by the trampling of tourists who come to admire a historical jewel. A visitor quota was introduced in 2019. However, the measure remains controversial and the threshold fluctuates. Demonstrations by tourists took place in July 2022 to protest against the lack of tickets, recalls Le Figaro.

epa07561956 (FILE) - A view of the citadel of Machu Picchu, South-Andean region of Cusco, Peru, 05 April 2019 (reissued 11 May 2019).  Peru restricts access to three major attractions in the historic I
The ruins of the ancient Inca citadel of Machu Picchu had attracted more than a million visitors in 2019. (EPA-EFE/Ernesto Arias)

Reservation required for Mont-Blanc

The ascent of the Roof of Europe has been more supervised since 2019. To climb to the summit, it is necessary to book a night in a refuge, which limits the number of climbers who can commit simultaneously to just over 200 . The measure aims to limit overcrowding – 25,000 mountaineers each year – and its effects coupled with climate change, which increases the risks, as shown in the summer of 2022.

Confidential reopening for Maya Bay

The name Maya Bay speaks perhaps less than the 2000 film that made this beach in Thailand famous: “The Beach”, starring Leonardo DiCaprio. A celebrity like this site on Phi Phi Leh Island has wiped away the footsteps and sunscreen of too many tourists. Coral reefs and local wildlife have suffered. In 2018, access was closed. The place became accessible again, more than three years later, under stricter conditions: 375 simultaneous visitors are authorized, without swimming.

epa07560130 (FILE) - Tourists bask in sunlight on Ko Phi Phi Le Island, Krabi Province, Thailand, 07 December 2005 (reissued 10 May 2019).  According to Thailand's National Parks Department (NPD) on 10
Tourists on Maya Bay beach in 2005. Access to the site is now strictly limited, after several years of complete closure to protect corals and wildlife. (EPA-EFE/STRINGER)

Visitor count in Dubrovnik

A long-standing seaside resort for Croats, Dubrovnik’s European appeal has grown since 2000 and particularly since the broadcast, from 2012, of the series “Game of Thrones”, which was filmed there. Difficult to absorb the thousands of visitors in an old city surrounded by ramparts. To smooth out the crowds, the daily arrivals of cruise ships have been limited since 2019. A counter also makes it possible to check that the threshold of 8,000 visitors, recommended by Unesco, has not been exceeded. Measures that do not prevent the city from being populated by tourists and souvenir shops, an economic windfall that is difficult to break.

More access to Australia’s Uluru Rock

The image embodies the landscapes of Australia: the Uluru rock, a large block with red hues, became inaccessible to tourists in 2019, more than 60 years after the opening of access for hiking there. The degradation linked to the many passages and rock removals explains it, as well as its sacred character for its owners, the Anangu aborigines. The measure follows several years of prevention and reminds us that tourist access is not definitive.

epa07950719 Uluru, also known as Ayers Rock is seen during sunset at Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park in the Northern Territory, Australia, 26 October 2019. On 26 October 2019, an Uluru climbing ban cam
Australia’s Uluru Rock, sacred to its Aboriginal owners, had been accessible since the 1950s before being closed from 2019. (EPA-EFE/LUKAS COCH AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND OUT)

In Iceland, Justin Bieber closes a canyon

The Icelandic lands summon an imaginary of desert volcanic soils. This is not the case of the Fjadrargljufur canyon, in the south of the country. This site was closed for several months, in 2019, in the face of an increase in its attendance, in particular linked to a clip by singer Justin Bieber, shot in this place. On this site, as in many natural places, attendance is a problem, but also the failure to respect the paths provided for traffic.

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