So we’ve seen how over-tourism has been killing destinations across the world. One of our blog contributors, Silvija Rumiha, founder of Zero Waste Bali – Bali’s first zero waste bulk store – inspired us with her story on tackling the ill effects of over-tourism on the island. While Silvia’s journey may seem daunting and not easily replicable, there are a few things all of us can do to ensure we do not partake in over-tourism. Here are five ways we can avoid over-tourism. Feel free to comment with your own ways to add to this list.
- Avoid the high season
I was recently on a trip to Bulgaria and chose to stay at Sunny beach. Located on the eastern coast, Sunny Beach has transformed itself into a wildly popular seaside resort destination over the last decade. The summer months trigger a booming tourism industry. And this brings in tons of visitors.
No exaggeration, but the beach was packed with little or no space for one to lay down. (The picture above is not of Sunny Beach, but it was really no different).
So, now that we were there, we chose to avoid the aquaparks and the beach side shacks for the “party vibes” in the evenings. And going by the packed shuttle services provided by some of these places, it seems like the right decision. In fact, possibly the best experience we had during the stay was renting cycles and exploring the place including the older town of Nessebar.
An alternate to this would be stick to lesser known destinations.
- Stay central
Okay, so this may not always be the most affordable option. But consider alternates to traditional hotels, such as homestays and hostels, or maybe lower starred hotels. Trade the lower number of stars for a more sustainable and local experience. By doing so, you may not have to travel extensively or feel the need to rent cars, opt for taxis, and the likes
- Walk or opt for public transport
Living centrally is most often aided by easy access to public transport.
Alternately, you could walk. Not only does it keep you healthy, but it’s often the best way to see a city, a view that’s been echoed by so many of our travel partners and bloggers.
- Seek sustainable travel experiences
Not sure how to go about planning a sustainable holiday? Opt for a travel agent offering sustainable experiences. Check out On The Go Tours which offers carefully plans personalized tailor-made trips which promise you the best of a local cultural experience. Specialized travel agencies like this are led by experts who’ve chalked out an entirely sustainable journey for you – from the stay to the travel, the food and the local experience.
- Stay longer at one destination
We are often so eager to visit an entire country in a week’s time, we overlook the fact that in doing so we are only contributing to over-tourism. And the trip just ends up stressful.
Okay, so you may have visited a country in it’s peak season, but if you can stay longer in one city, it gives you a lot more time to explore it and the surroundings. There’s no rush to pack in a trip to all possible places of visit within the week – instead you can actually check on days when tourist zones are less crowded and visit them accordingly. A longer stay in one destination helps you enjoy a vacation thoroughly and actually experience the local ways in a true sense.