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Overtourism is so 2019. Crowds are a hazard and many urban areas are still closed so when travellers begin to look towards where they can go next, places with big spaces and small populations are increasingly attractive. Forbes recently interviewed Chris Kam(opens in a new tab), an expert in forecasting travel marketing trends. Kam spoke about the trend of moving away from urban tourism, suggesting that many tourists will be looking to avoid the tourist crowds.
For many destinations that are reliant on the tourist economy, implementing policies and goals now is essential to creating a sustainable future. Venice will begin requiring a day-visitor fee to offset work being done on various historic sites throughout the city. They are also discussing redeveloping their historically renowned manufacturing sector. This is aimed at diversifying the town’s economy, as well as enticing tourists away from the souvenir shops and towards their more authentic aspects.(opens in a new tab)
Some destinations are lucky enough to already have the wide-open spaces, so attracting travellers looking for that isn’t such a difficult task. Let’s take Africa for example, their environmental and safari offerings present a clear choice for many visitors. Although hit hard by the world lockdown(opens in a new tab), representatives from tourism boards in African are positive that the system will recover. They are now presented with various options to introduce what Kam refers to as “managed tourism” into their playbooks. Countries like New Zealand, Iceland, and Palau have already introduced conservation pledges into their visas and passport stamps. This not only gives authorities various enforceability structures but also educates visitors on the importance of sustainability and the impact of tourism on natural and cultural spaces. Apart from the immense loss and damage that many in the industry have experienced, the future of tourism is providing a lot of hope for a sustainable value shift from providers and visitors alike.
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