Overtourism: Is this a real thing?
Tourism in some destinations may feel more like an episode of “The Walking Dead” than a well-earned vacation. A UNWTO meeting in Seoul last month addressed the matter that is now becoming widespread as affordable travel allows visitors to nearly overrun some iconic tourism destinations and cause discomfort and concern for both residents and visitors.
Protests, such as those staged recently in Seoul, Barcelona, even Auckland, New Zealand, have left tourism ministries scratching their heads for novel and purposeful solutions, according to a new report in Travel-Intel. The report quotes UNWTO secretary-general, Zurab Pololikashvili in his efforts to put a lid on unchecked visitor growth and create policies that will allow tourism to flourish without damaging physical or social environments, as global tourism, according to Travel-Intel accounts for 10.4% of the global GDP and is expected to grow from 1.3 billion today to 1.8 billion in 2030.
The story in Travel-Intel is one of several looking at new and long-term trends in the travel industry. The publication, which is sent to 120,000 travel agent subscribers in North America through Tours.com also targets travel consumers with noteworthy articles that can assist in better travel decisions.
Other articles in the October issue include a look at some of the quirkiest airport amenities around the world, whether that is a quick Jacuzzi soak and swim on an airport rooftop, a venture into traditional costume design in Korea, ice skating, a visit to an aquarium or art museum – airports are simply not just airports anymore.
Similarly, as winter falls and long nights of darkness approach, Travel-Intel looks at “Dark Tourism.” This is a feature about where to see stars in America and around the world as the celestial bodies are fast disappearing from urban skyscapes. The new phenomenon is called “astrotourism” and is fast gaining ground as an activity-based travel choice, especially for families.
In other stories, Travel-Intel looks at new lodging options opening in the Kingdom of Bhutan, a small Shangri-La of a country bordering India and China that bills itself as the “home of happiness.” Six Senses Hotels Resorts & Spas is opening several new luxury properties there and they will add to the exclusive collection of luxury hotels, resorts and destination specialists represented by HiddenDoorwaysTravel.com.
Finally, Travel-Intel looks at voluntourism, or traveling for the good, shedding light on the good and bad of travel as philanthropy and noting tried and tested facilitating organizations that can be trusted. What can’t be trusted, however, are hotel bills. This month’s Travel-Intel looks at how hotel accommodation charges can mount without warning. It’s called “Price Drip” and Travel-Intel looks at what can be done about it.
Travel-Intel is written by travel industry journalists and focuses on changing trends in travel. Stories come from a variety of places and perspectives, including inside track information from travel industry conferences and expos, or first-person experiences at popular hotels, reports from exotic resorts, cruise ships and ports, and destinations near and far. Current issues and archives can be viewed at travel-intel.com.
“The world of travel is more like a fast-moving train to Tokyo than a slow boat to China. Every day brings a new focus, a new caveat and, at the same time, new wonders to be explored,” says Lark Gould, editor at Travel-Intel. “We present that news in engaging nuggets for travel industry purveyors and consumers of travel so they can make better-informed choices.”
As a veteran travel journalist who has been covering the travel industry for more than 30 years, Lark Gould puts her incisive perspective into the weekly publication, with features and news updates, and also “packages” issues that present great travel deals to be found at hotels and resort locations worldwide. Travel-Intel can be viewed as a stand-alone publication on Tours.com. Gould syndicates a Travel2020 column and regularly publishes travel stories in Business Traveler USA, as well as eTravel news and various inflights.