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Tourists Go Home

tourists blog

That’s the message that seems to be coming out of various countries.  Big demonstrations in the Canaries over tourism.  I haven’t been to the islands but I do know that it is a big destination for the Brits.  Those lovely sandy beaches and hot days are a welcome escape from the British grey drizzle.  Well the locals have had enough.  Over 57,000 people demonstrated.  Just to be clear – they welcome tourism- but want it controlled.  I can understand that. 

As a kid living in Cornwall we did not like the “visitors” who came down from the North.  The village was always packed as were the beaches.  We did have our secret beaches of course – only reached via a scramble along a cliff side pathway.  The local businesses however loved it.  Cornish pasties flew out of the bakeries and the little corner café was constantly full with people enjoying cream teas. 

Other areas are controlling tourism as well.  Amsterdam for long has railed against the stag and stagette weekend visits where drunken louts roam the streets.  Now they are looking at cutting down on the number of river boats with access to Amsterdam.  Anyone who has been on a river cruise on the Rhine out of Amsterdam can attest to the large number of river cruise vessels along the whole stretch of the Rhine.  But what will cutting back do?  Push up the price?  Time will tell.

Venice has stopped the big ships from docking in its main cruise port and now big ships have to go to Ravenna or Trieste.  Not quite the same but the picture says it all.

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Venice is going to start charging day trippers a 5 Euro visiting fee per day and Athens is capping visitors to the Acropolis to 20,000 a day.  And even that number is startling!

So what’s the answer?  More people are travelling in the off season.  Maybe the weather is not perfect but with less crowds you are able to really enjoy a city and probably have more time to interact with the locals then before.  Café owners will welcome visitors on a quiet day in November  –  and now that the world is warming up (that’s another blog altogether!) the weather will probably be quite nice. 

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2 Responses

  1. Oh my goodness, this pictures are very disturbing. And that story from the Mirror is laughable. I am so fortunate to have visited many places including The Canary Islands, Greece and Italy several decades ago to enjoy the history and culture before tourism became as exhaustive and entitled as it has become. My empathy is with the locals. Hiking away from the crowds and travelling off season have become my travel choices now.

    1. That is very true. I have travelled in high season time too. It just depends how you do it and how experienced you are. Some people just love the buzz of a crowd – each to his own!

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The Travel Lady

Lesley Keyter is the face of travel in the fast growing city of Calgary. Every week since 1997 she has has featured live on the Morning News Global TV.

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