Andrew J. Wein - Jun 10, 2019
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A combination of discounts on airline tickets, cheap Airbnb rooms and the practice of sharing houses through social networks makes tourist's money yield much more.

The Louvre in Paris closed one day last week because its employees said they could not handle the number of tourists. In the Himalayas, mountaineers trying to climb Mount Everest say that the amount of people on the slopes contributes to the highest death toll over the last years.

In cities and other attractive destinations around the world, from Barcelona, Amsterdam to Bali, mass tourism is a serious problem.

When the lands around Elsinore Lake in California bloomed, a crowd of tourists went in search of the perfect photo and the municipality spread a tweet about traffic congestion and the trampling of the hillsides in bloom: “We know that it has been a horrible period and that it caused unnecessary inconveniences to our entire community”. Last summer something similar happened with a field of sunflowers on the outskirts of Toronto, which was destroyed after popularizing on Instagram.

A combination of discounts on airline tickets, cheap Airbnb rooms and the practice of sharing houses through social networks makes tourist money pay much more while gathering noisy crowds and generating dangerous situations in places that were once idyllic and quiet little crowded places.

Tourists pass over every attraction they visit. Some communities are taking action and ask visitors to behave.

How to visit these sites without causing problems or result in a plague? Here are three expert tips:

  1. Remember, you´re not the center of everything

Traveling to a distant place and experiencing another culture can be transformative, generating a sense of freedom and even hedonism. But do not forget it's the culture of another, the house of another.

Therefore, do not be content with choosing a hotel. Research and find out about the place you plan to visit. What are their customs? The policies towards the environment? If you use a travel agency, ask for advice on how to handle yourself. This is not Disneyland, it may be logical to wear shorts and a tank top when it is 35 degrees Celsius in Thailand. But if you visit a Buddhist temple, that is disrespectful.

Experts advise to observe local customs and respect them. For example, in the metros and buses of Europe people usually read or sit quietly. Imitate them and avoid making noise and taking pictures.

If you are in an isolated resort, do all the fun you want, but if you are staying in an Airbnb, you probably have neighbors with babies who must sleep or people who must get up early to go to work. Do not make noise at night.

  1. Be careful when taking pictures

We like to take pictures all the time. But taking pictures of people, their children, and their homes can go too far. Also, respect the environment. Do not trample gardens to get the best picture. And be prudent. In the Kaaterskill Falls, in the Catskill of New York, four tourists died in recent years trying to take spectacular selfies.

Note that you may have a better experience if you do not spend so much time on the pictures, the fewer photos, on the other hand, the less chance of tourists overflowing.

If you take that picture, will a thousand people arrive the next day to take the same photo?

  1. Be Generous & Polite

Consider also buying things produced by the people of the area, not the ones sold in the big hotels, and try to eat in the locals' restaurants and bars. Use public transport as much as possible, to protect the environment. Above all, you'll have a better experience.

For example, learn to say ‘Where can I buy a coffee?’ in the local language. They will treat you better if you try to speak their language. Be patient and respectful of people trying to bring order to crowded sites.

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