Now is the summer of their discontent.
A story illustrating what happens when enough tourism is too much, driven by the “disruption” of online booking channels like Airbnb, cruise tourism, and the rise of tourist numbers to locations made popular in films and online TV shows.
We already see this in our region, with the overwhelming number of people climbing Mt Warning, – now more than 100,000 per year according to some sources, beginning to diminish that experience for many people, the hoards of visitors to Byron Bay, and other locations where “flash tourism” experiences can wreak havoc on local communities.
This trend needs to be addressed by local councils, DTOs and operators now, before it becomes a problem of a similar magnitude in our region.
While there’s only so much supply and demand which can enable individual operators to “price themselves out of the market”, local councils, state and federal governments have a critical role to play in what is now becoming a double edged sword, and needs a delicate balance.
Lord Howe Island and Bhutan both spring to mind as good examples of places where visitation and access models are used to proactively manage visitor numbers, in order to protect fragile environments, World Heritage listed properties, and the interests and cultural lifestyles of local communities.
Can anyone else provide other examples of destinations which have planning and administration programmes in place, to actively manage visitor and tourism numbers for the benefit of the environment and local communities ahead of the “free market”?
- Lord Howe Island Board
- Lord Howe Island Tourism Association
- Farrier, Lucy, Caring for Place: Negotiating World Heritage on Lord Howe Island, Bachelor of Science (Honours), School of Earth & Environmental Sciences, University of Wollongong, 2011. Abstract: http://ro.uow.edu.au/thsci/23
- Tourism Council of Bhutan Tourism Policy
- Impacts of Bhutan’s controlled tourism policy