I love the feeling when traveling that I’ve escaped the main road, skirted the hype, and found the authentic, local gem. I’m not special in this regard: authenticity is a treasured value. And it’s great how easily my smart phone lets me find great local spots to eat or stay. But we all find it easy, and these local gems are increasingly being destroyed by their popularity. As Farhad Manjoo wrote in the New York Times piece linked below, “A sustainable level of tourists brings widespread gains to the local economy, but too many ruin it for everyone.” It’s debatable whether technology caused the problem — it certainly exacerbates it — but can technology also help solve it?
- Overtourism is becoming a major issue for cities across the globe [World Economic Forum] “While many tourists want to ‘live like a local’ and have an authentic and immersive experience during their visit, the residents of many tourism-dependent destinations are seeing the unique sense of place that characterised their home towns vanish beneath a wave of souvenir shops, crowds, tour buses and rowdy bars.”
- ‘Overtourism’ Worries Europe. How Much Did Technology Help Get Us There? [New York Times] “Seventy-five years ago, tourism was about experience seeking. Now it’s about using photography and social media to build a personal brand.”
- Overtourism is a problem – but social media is not to blame [New Statesman] “Ultimately, blaming overtourism on social media looks suspiciously like the latest case of millennial shaming. Rather than turning to the statistically-backed evidence that increased affluence and education means people can travel more, it is easier to blame Instagram users.”
- Relying only on Emojis and photos, could YOBO be Generation-Z’s Foursquare? [TechCrunch] “Because they are likely to get more data down to its ease of use, YOBO can use machine learning to begin to recommend local spots the user might personally like rather than just the most popular ones.”
From the Ohio Web Library:
- Sage, Adam. “Paris Council Sues Airbnb for €43M a Day.” Times, the (United Kingdom), 13 Apr. 2018, p. 33.
- Pylas, Pan. “Popular European Destinations Working to Relieve ‘Overtourism’.” Toronto Star (Canada), 16 Nov. 2017.
- “How to Behave in Barcelona.” Evening Standard, 04 May 2018, p. 58.