FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

U.S. National Parks Face Overtourism

by Allie Menzione

Apr 17, 2018

© Guoqiang Xue | Dreamstime.com

Feature

As overtoursim plagues hot spot destinations across the globe, affecting local economies, transportation services, natural ecosystems and more, steps are taken to help reduce the effects in cities and tourist destinations worldwide.

In the United States, national parks face a tourism influx dramatically affecting the pristine, untouched landscapes they are keen to protect. During the past year some parks considered reservation systems and other measures to address visitor growth.

More than 330 million people visited a park, monument or site of the National Park System last year, as visitors are spending more time in these areas. Blue Ridge Parkway, Golden Gate National Recreation Area and Great Smoky Mountains National Park were the most-visited park sites this past year.

In some parks, shuttle buses dump huge numbers of tourists onto trails, causing overcrowding. As Ryan Zinke, interior secretary, put it, “Our national parks are being loved to death.” Reservation systems are still a work in progress, and are about a year or more away from being complete.

In other cities across the world overtourism is being addressed and strictly enforced. Dubrovnik announced it would start limiting the number of tourists that can enter its city center on a daily basis. Machu Picchu implemented a ticket reservation system last July, limiting the amount of people visiting during different parts of the day. Thailand will close popular attraction Maya Bay for four months annually (starting this June) to help the recovery of reefs and marine habitats.

Measures like these, and many others, are implemented to better regulate tourism around the world, and will continue to shift in response to residents’ concerns, environmental effects and economic influence.

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