"Overtourism" has reached Amsterdam

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Aug 10th, 2018, 01:05 AM
  #41
 
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I'm travelling less and less.
I hate crowds, I hate seeing places over-run with people taking the obligatory Instagram photo. They are not actually enjoying where they are and have no respect for their surroundings or the locals.
I have no need to see the Eiffel Tower or the Sagrada Familia, or the Colosseum. I can see three billion photos of them. I will gain little if anything by joining the throng.
I visited Yosemite, and I really disliked it. Not the scenery, but the crowds of people aimlessly wandering around, yakking, shopping, and largely ignoring what they had paid to go and see. Even on some of the trails there wer noisy crowds queuing to take photos, but not taking it all in. I should have stuck to my Ansel Adams photos, rather than the nasty memory I now have of it.
Cheap flights are destroying the world in more ways than one.
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Aug 10th, 2018, 01:27 AM
  #42
 
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I don't think Yosemite is a good example. It's always been one of the most visited landmarks of the US.
If you look at the statistics, there had been a spike in 2016.
But from an overall perspective, the number of visitors has always been "very high" since the mid 1980s.
https://irma.nps.gov/Stats/SSRSRepor...ear)?Park=YOSE
All things considered, I think that the US is doing a much better job in "crowd control", especially in the national parks.
The big ones, like Zion or GC, have road closures for individual car travel in place - at least in high season. The facilities (and fees) have been increased. The park information leaflets are promoting less crowded areas and trails and so on.
And even when I started to travel to the US in the 1990s, I tried to avoid the time between mid-May and mid-September. If only to save money.

While the current status of tourism may be "too much" for locals in Amsterdam or Barcelona, this did not happen overnight. It's not as if last year there had been 1 million tourists and this year 5 million tourists. If you keep sleeping behind the wheel and do not properly manage the tourism industry as if you would (hopefully) manage any other industry, you cannot be that amazed that things get out of hand.
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Aug 10th, 2018, 03:48 AM
  #43
 
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The problem is partly the sheer number of tourists, but also the behavior of the tourists. Tour groups (cruise ship and bus) move around congested touristy areas in amoeba-like blobs, slowly moving around in groups of 40, blocking entire streets as they obliviously follow their lollipop waving guide with their ear buds blocking out everything but their guide. No consideration for other people who might want to get past them. Add to that the thousands of people who insist on having their photo taken in front of absolutely everything, climbing on fountains and statues and monuments, waving around their selfie sticks. Something needs to be done about the huge numbers, but also about the behaviors. Some things that could be done:


Significantly raise fees for cruise ships and use the increased revenue to enforce new restrictions on tourist behavior, clean up the trash they leave behind, repair the damage, etc.


Seriously limit the number of cruise ships allowed to dock in many cities.


Do the same thing with tour group buses.


Pass ordinances outlawing groups over a certain size.


Enact regulations to curb bad tourist behavior such as climbing on monuments, fountains, etc. in order to take photos of people in front of them, public drinking, etc.


Ban selfie sticks in many places. Enact fines for use of selfie sticks and climbing on things to have photos taken – if the fines are steep enough (and enforced) this might curtail the bad behaviors. Use the fines to pay for people to enforce the rules (this would have a secondary effect of providing jobs).
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Aug 10th, 2018, 04:49 AM
  #44
 
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Raising prices until they keep out those who can't afford to tour away from tourist sites sounds more than a bit discriminatory. The admission price increases at US national parks are to pay for repairs and updates after decades of deferred maintenance secondary to the "no taxes" philosophy of the radical conservatives who have had a lot of fiscal control here, but the effect is the same independent of motivation.

Similarly, limiting access with docking and bus fee increases and total limits will inevitably lead to premium pricing for companies that have bought access.

Meanwhile, over tourism ruins the sites and lessens their value.

Fees and limits will not eliminate the dual causes, increased affluence and increased population. I am not optimistic.
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Aug 10th, 2018, 06:29 AM
  #45
 
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I'm not suggesting "rising prices until they keep out those who can't afford to tour". I am a budget traveler and spend way less than people who take cruises or package tours. Raising fees on cruise companies and tour companies would allow for money to pay cities to help combat the damage and trouble those companies cause by bringing in the number of people they do - as I said, pass ordinances that don't allow for giant tour groups, ban selfie sticks, ban climbing on things to take photos, clean up trash, repair damage, remove locks from bridges, etc. Someone needs to do that work and be paid to do so. Only fair that the companies that benefit bare the cost of managing the behaviors and their results and the taxpayers of the cities shouldn't have to be the ones. If the price to take a cruise or tour rises maybe some people will look into being responsible, respectful independent travelers rather than going on the tours.
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Aug 10th, 2018, 07:01 AM
  #46
 
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Soon, short haul flights within Europe will be a thing of the past and then super cheap intercontinental flights. The tide is turning.>

Dream on -is there anything to back up this claim? Europeans will stand for not being able to move around Europe by air?

The best things that can be done are to limit accommodations - if folks can't book a room most will not come - except the young folks like my French son long ago when he was 18 and drove there and slept in cars - eliminate Vliegenbos Camping and other campings and most hostels - that will keep out undesirables like low-spending European young people - just have expensive hotels only older and richer folks can afford. Limit coffee shops only to Dutch residents and all and all just wealthier tourists who are desirable and well behaving will come. And keep those Chinese groups out - just American and European wealthier folks. British hen parties and lager louts out. Charge steep fees for any type of floatation device or boat on canals. Just a reasonable number of upscale tourists who spend a lot.

Reality check - this ain't going to happen!

Last edited by PalenQ; Aug 10th, 2018 at 07:06 AM.
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Aug 10th, 2018, 07:51 AM
  #47
 
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Pal really needs a sarcasm font.
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Aug 10th, 2018, 08:53 AM
  #48
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Originally Posted by Cowboy1968 View Post
I don't think Yosemite is a good example. It's always been one of the most visited landmarks of the US.
If you look at the statistics, there had been a spike in 2016.
But from an overall perspective, the number of visitors has always been "very high" since the mid 1980s.
https://irma.nps.gov/Stats/SSRSRepor...ear)?Park=YOSE
All things considered, I think that the US is doing a much better job in "crowd control", especially in the national parks.
The big ones, like Zion or GC, have road closures for individual car travel in place - at least in high season. The facilities (and fees) have been increased. The park information leaflets are promoting less crowded areas and trails and so on.
And even when I started to travel to the US in the 1990s, I tried to avoid the time between mid-May and mid-September. If only to save money.

While the current status of tourism may be "too much" for locals in Amsterdam or Barcelona, this did not happen overnight. It's not as if last year there had been 1 million tourists and this year 5 million tourists. If you keep sleeping behind the wheel and do not properly manage the tourism industry as if you would (hopefully) manage any other industry, you cannot be that amazed that things get out of hand.
a 5 year period is an eternity in policy implementation terms. I also think no one was prepared for the impact of AirBnB. After all, the hype, back in 2012 was that the "sharing economy" was a cool thing. That AirBnB had a predatory business model just not registered with the city council.
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Aug 10th, 2018, 08:55 AM
  #49
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Originally Posted by PalenQ View Post
Soon, short haul flights within Europe will be a thing of the past and then super cheap intercontinental flights. The tide is turning.>

Dream on -is there anything to back up this claim? Europeans will stand for not being able to move around Europe by air?

The best things that can be done are to limit accommodations - if folks can't book a room most will not come - except the young folks like my French son long ago when he was 18 and drove there and slept in cars - eliminate Vliegenbos Camping and other campings and most hostels - that will keep out undesirables like low-spending European young people - just have expensive hotels only older and richer folks can afford. Limit coffee shops only to Dutch residents and all and all just wealthier tourists who are desirable and well behaving will come. And keep those Chinese groups out - just American and European wealthier folks. British hen parties and lager louts out. Charge steep fees for any type of floatation device or boat on canals. Just a reasonable number of upscale tourists who spend a lot.

Reality check - this ain't going to happen!
Germany is already moving to ban point to point flights within Germany. Short haul European flights will go the same way.
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Aug 10th, 2018, 09:10 AM
  #50
 
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I suspect such flight curtails will only be on routes where trains can do it in a few hours- maybe 4-5 hours. Anyway surprising development - and I'm all for that. In name of air pollution is the reason I suspect and curtailing tourism a by product. We'll see if London-Amsterdam flights are scrubbed as should be IMO.
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Aug 10th, 2018, 11:57 AM
  #51
 
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Ryanair is doing his own work to end flying.
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Aug 10th, 2018, 01:21 PM
  #52
 
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Ah with the demise of short-haul flights in Europe we could see a resurgence of night trains! Or night trains and trains carrying cars.

Soon, short haul flights within Europe will be a thing of the past and then super cheap intercontinental flights>

Ah so only the wealthier will be able to fly to Europe? European tourism will take a huge hit - is that what they really plan on doing? Good luck EU telling UK to do that.
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Aug 11th, 2018, 12:33 AM
  #53
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Originally Posted by PalenQ View Post
Ah with the demise of short-haul flights in Europe we could see a resurgence of night trains! Or night trains and trains carrying cars.

Soon, short haul flights within Europe will be a thing of the past and then super cheap intercontinental flights>

Ah so only the wealthier will be able to fly to Europe? European tourism will take a huge hit - is that what they really plan on doing? Good luck EU telling UK to do that.
UK has greater worries, come march 2019, than long haul flights.

We're looking at a paradigm shift: no longer "business as usual". A cheap-ass holiday in "Europe" is nog a God-given right.
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Aug 11th, 2018, 03:04 AM
  #54
 
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No kidding, menachem.

I agree with Isabel about behavior, but it's related to crowd sizes, too. The more people there are, the greater the perentage of louts thinking anyplace they go is all theirs to treat as they see fit.

<<Ah with the demise of short-haul flights in Europe we could see a resurgence of night trains! Or night trains and trains carrying cars.>>

Not going to happen, Pal. Dream on. Do you follow the news regarding new rail technology and plans Europe-wide? They're moving forward, not backward.

As for your premise that only the wealthy will be able to fly to, and vacation in, Europe if cheap flights are discontinued, do you think that will cut down on boorish behavior? Look at all the rock stars who trash hotel rooms. At least they can afford to pay out of pocket for their own damage.
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Aug 11th, 2018, 05:59 AM
  #55
 
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Hi, I really think that some of the Alaska Tours have done a better job of tourist control than Europe, which the climate obviously helps. While the tour ships are pretty horrendous with large numbers of people, the areas around Fairbanks/Denali are pretty low in tourists, when I've been there. I recall in Denai Park, we could enter only in a small school type bus , in late Spring, could only go in a short distance due to permafrost making the ground too soft. Then one July we still were required to be in the small bus, and were able to go in much farther, but they seemed to control groups quite well. Few years back so I hope they are still ccontrolling it. As Pogo says, we've seen the enemy and He is Us, or something like that.
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Aug 11th, 2018, 06:28 AM
  #56
 
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Raising prices until they keep out those who can't afford to tour away from tourist sites sounds more than a bit discriminatory.
That is the Bhutan model. It seems to work for them. While their prices are really on the high side I see nothing wrong with residents attempting to keep hordes of ill-behaved visitors out, and it if it takes raising prices to do it, fine.

What makes something a "tourist sight" is also an interesting question. I doubt anyone asks the people living next to it if they want an invasion of tourists.
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Aug 11th, 2018, 06:35 AM
  #57
 
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In Paris, during the summer I can no longer set foot on the Champs Elysées, the Marais, the Latin Quarter, the banks of the Seine... Luckily, none of those are areas that particularly attract me.
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Aug 11th, 2018, 08:08 AM
  #58
 
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A cheap-ass holiday in "Europe" is nog a God-given right.>

OK only for wealthy

St Cirq menachem recently posted something about a resurgence in near future of overnight trains.
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Aug 11th, 2018, 08:45 AM
  #59
 
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To quote the incomparable Yogi Berra, "Nobody goes there any more. It's too crowded."

I try to avoid those places that attract crowds, though I did visit Krakow as part of my trip to Poland in June. It was noticeably more crowded that it had been in 2008, when I last visited.
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Aug 11th, 2018, 01:42 PM
  #60
 
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My son who lives in Amsterdam is having to move apartments and has been looking for weeks and weeks and cannot find anything. I'm getting really worried for him, accommodation for locals is so hard. I don't know what he's going to do. He works late hours and needs to be fairly central.

I was there in April and Centrum was heaving.
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