5 RECOMMENDATIONS FOR
POLICY AND DECISION-MAKERS
Overtourism is a complex and rapidly evolving issue, involving
diverse stakeholders, often with competing interests. It is also
infused with emotive sentiments over the rights of visitors vs.
the rights of local people, and global trends vs. local habits. The
hospitality industry has not all answers to these complex issues,
however it strongly contributes to sustain, as an integral part
of the global travel and tourism sector, the local eco-system by
providing jobs and growth and therefore strongly and positively
impacts life and society.
HOTREC is committed on a global and European level to continue
participating indialoguewithgovernmental and intergovernmental
organisations and to develop sustainable tourism for the benefit of
society. Above all, the hospitality sector places great importance
on dialogue with the public sector, in order to ensure that any
measures taken to tackle Overtourism are fair and proportionate
in order for the industry to keep playing its economic and social
role, i.e. by creating tens of thousands of jobs every year. HOTREC
considers that the hospitality industry shall be recognised as
a strong provider of economic and social value to national
economies. To feed the current debate, HOTREC proposes five
areas for policy and decision-makers to be addressed in order to
tackle Overtourism in European destinations:
TOURISM ACTIVITY MUST BE ACCURATELY GOVERNED.
Comprehensive data collection is crucial in
order to gain a clear picture of the extent of tourism activity in each destination, so that proportionate resources may be dedicated to
the planning and management of a sustainable tourism policy. This includes measuring STR activities, which require the registration
of all hosts with the local authorities, the collection of information on nights spent and the obligation for them to pay all relevant local
taxes (e.g. income tax, city tax), and comply with consumer protection. This is also required in matters of local security governance.
For more information please refer to the HOTREC Chart.
CONSIDER APPLYING SENSIBLE THRESHOLDS ON VISITOR CAPACITY.
While it is clearly
impractical to impose physical limits on the number of visitors who enter most towns and cities, other ways of applying limits include
placing a fair limit on accommodation provision through limiting STR to a fair number of nights per year and better coordinating the
flow of cruise passengers who may disembark in a city on a given day. There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach. Instead, sensible limits
must be agreed through dialogue among all parties in each destination.
EASE THE PRESSURE, SPREAD THE DEMAND.
Overtourism does not affect every destination; in fact, it has only
become a challenge in some specific and well identified destinations. Nevertheless, the yearly growth of tourist arrivals requires that public and
private sectorsmust work together to spread the visitor demandmore evenly throughout the year, and throughout their territory. This necessitates
policies inter alia better promoting less-visited destinations and that seasonal businesses stay open for longer. Thiswill positively impact rural areas
HELP EVERY VISITOR TO BECOME A RESPONSIBLE VISITOR.
Public and private sector bodiesmust work
together to reduce ‘flashpoints’ which cause particular concern to local residents and educate visitors about enjoying their destination in amanner
which is respectful of local people, their local environment and way of life.
DIALOGUE & CONSULTATION GO A LONG WAY.
t is particularly important that structures are set up in each
destination to ensure effective dialogue between local residents, professional tourism organisations and authorities about the impacts and the
concerns related to tourism, and to discuss common solutions. This is an essential part of the development of a sustainable tourism policy which
has to be customised with local needs and particular situations.
Travel and Leisure (2017) How Cinque Terre is handling the pressure of being on every traveller’s bucket list (17-04-2018)
Tourism Review (2017) Overtourism in Europe is a critical problem (29-05-2017)
CNN (2018) 12 places travellers might want to avoid in 2018 (03-02-2018)
GTP (2017) Santorini mayor proposes housing solutions for ‘homeless’ teachers (20-10-2017)
McKinsey & Company and WTTC (2017) Coping with success: Managing overcrowding in tourism destinations (p.18)
The paper was prepared by Toposophy in cooperation with HOTREC and was also based on information and comments received fromHOTRECMember Associations.
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