Places that are being destroyed by tourism
Posted on 31/05/2017

EnvironmentItaly

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Tourism can make or break a region, and we do literally mean break. From vandalized historical sites and overcrowded medieval streets to pollution and a sinking city here are 10 sites that are being damaged by tourism.

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  • Venice - Italy
    Venice - Italy

    With its gorgeous architecture, incredible museums, narrow streets seeped in history and myriad of canals Venice has been a mainstay on every single travel bucket list. While the historic city center has a population of only 55,000 every day the city gets a minimum of 50,000 foreign visitors. This constant influx of tourists means that overcrowding is a huge problem with visitors often unable to access key sites. The high numbers of cruise ships, which dock in the Venetian Lagoon, pose a threat to the city's fragile canals and changing climate is directly responsible for the city's literal sinking.

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There is no denying that tourism can bring financial stability if not even prosperity to a struggling region. Iceland is just one example of the positive effects of tourism on the economy, having been brought back from the brink of a devastating financial crisis thanks to a boom in tourism to the region; however as with all good things there is always a flip side. The Butler Model (named after Professor Richard W Butler) is commonly used to show the growth of a tourist destination: the destination is discovered, its popularity grows exponentially until it reaches peak success. Unfortunately, for most places, what follows next is a turn downhill.

Tourism oversaturation - side effect of the extreme popularity of certain places - is a perfect example of why it's bad to have too much of a good thing. Cities and beaches become overcrowded, large chain hotels push out local owners, pollution ruins local ecosystems, and most ironic of all the beautiful sites that attracted visitors in the first place are damaged by those same visitors. With all of this in mind here is a list of ten places that have experienced the negative effects of tourism.

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