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TTC Special: Europe seeks solutions for overturism. No worries for the Caribbean

TTC Special: Europe seeks solutions for overturism. No worries for the Caribbean

Barcelona, one of the most affected cities by overtourism in 2017. Photo: boule13/123rf

HOTREC, the European umbrella association of hotels, restaurants and cafes believe that only with common efforts and taking the interests of all parties into account it will be able to find common solutions to ensure, that tourism remains a sustainable and beneficial activity for everyone even in destinations considered to be over-crowded.

The organization took a position on the so-called “overtourism” after incidents and measures taken by the excess of visitors in such important destinations as Venice, Holland and regions of Spain, among others

According to HOTREC the issue is of growing concern for several cities.

Experts think that the European hospitality industry would like to contribute to related ongoing discussions in a constructive manner being one of the key stakeholders in tourism and thus puts now forward recommendations for policy makers.

The experts estimates that is the interrelation of several factors, which has made the issue of ‘overtourism’ climb up on the political agenda.

Consequences for destinations are more and more visible, also to the broader public, as they feature in different news and as people in affected destinations experience them in their daily lives.

“We are looking forward to cooperating with all parties involved at EU and specifically at national level where our members are directly affected and ready to work on solutions”, said to newspapers Christian de Barrin, CEO of HOTREC.

A study in 2017 revealed that the worst European cities for overtourism that year were Barcelona, Amsterdam, Venice, Milan, Budapest, Bucharest, Reykjavik, Moscow and Athens.

However, in the Caribbean the numerous arrivals of tourists are coveted and not rejected as in other parts of the world. The Caribbean islands are very economically dependent on foreign holiday visitors. In the area the tourism industry is currently fighting for sustainable tourism.

A large part of overcrowding issues is directly correlated to cruising. Other issues stem from poor management at heritage and environmental sites.

Mass tourism was originally developed in the late 1800s in the UK by Thomas Cook, who pioneered the concept of affordable group travel tours. By establishing relationships between tour operators, transportation companies, and hotels, Cook was able to get deep volume discounts on travel services and pass those savings along to its customers.

The Guardian London newspaper explained recently that in modern times, the phrase often refers to budget-friendly package tours, cheap flights, all-inclusive resorts, and cruises. In general, it allows vast numbers of travelers to descend on a given destination in a relatively short time, usually during peak season.