All coins have two sides. Tourism is a fundamental economic agent for many economies. It has helped the development of communities and towns. However, tourism also has its detractors and even a concept has emerged as a result: tourismphobia. According to several anthropological studies, tourismphobia is a phenomenon that has its roots in the deficient planning of the various tourist destinations.
Emphasizing local and national efforts of governments seeking better management to avoid the 'invasion' of tourists, it is absolutely necessary that the professionals on the administration team have a solid foundation in business management and destination management.
What Is Tourismphobia?
The concept of tourismphobia has become a trend in recent years. However, its origin is not that new. In fact, researchers have already been studying it, experts address this issue from the tourist destination perspective. Tourists, in general, are received in five stages:
- Euphoria: This is the feeling of joy with which travelers are received by the host community.
- Apathy: This is represented in the indifference towards visitors when their presence is no longer a novelty and becomes very common.
- Annoyance: That same apathy produces annoyance in the locals to the point of seeing tourists as invaders.
- Antagonism and surrender: These last two stages are part of the tourismphobia phenomenon, as they translate into a rejection towards the effects of excessive tourism, which could trigger a surrender or acceptance feeling towards the inexorable transformation of the local environment.
Tourismphobia occurs when a tourist destination is overwhelmed by its capacity, i.e. when a site receives an excessive number of visitors and environmental resources are negatively compromised, generating discomfort and rejection among residents.
Another idea that emerges from tourismphobia is touristification.
What Is Touristification?
Touristification refers to the change experienced by cities that base their economy mainly on tourists, relegating the sector's neighbors and shaping a lifestyle that can only be afforded by travelers.
Touristification could be described as the impact that mass tourism has on the commercial and social core of certain cities or neighborhoods.
As well as what is nowadays called tourist gentrification, this is a trend that is developing in middle-class residential urban spaces, which, precisely because of these characteristics, become attractive to a portion of the wealthy population, who, seeing themselves identified with these sectors, prefer to live in them. The greatest benefit of their presence there is that they contribute to the recovery of the space and to an increase in the cost of living.
Other positive aspects of touristification include the specialization of sites in terms of their use and the flow of tourists and the generation of income and employment.
What Causes Tourismphobia?
Tourismphobia is produced, according to its proponents, mostly residents, by the increasing and notable exploitation of tourist destinations which results in a decrease in the quality of life of the locals.
The factors that procure it are:
- Wages acquire negative characteristics such as unstable, seasonal and low.
- Degradation and destruction of the ecosystem, natural areas, flora and fauna.
- Rental prices are increasing as well as living costs.
- The excess of visitors produces heavy transit through the tourist sites.
- Environmental pollution, traffic problems and noise pollution.
- The daily lives of citizens are disrupted.
Where Is Tourismphobia?
The most marked examples of tourismphobia can be strongly perceived in areas of Europe such as Barcelona, which was considered the city of perfect tourism; Venice; Cinque Terre; Santorini and Amsterdam.
These are cities where residents used to have a very traditional routine and lifestyle habits, which now have been deformed by mass tourism and it is precisely this that has given free rein to tourismphobia.