Only a few years after the “closure for COVID-19” was enough for the problem of overtourism to worsen again. Hostility to tourists is gaining momentum, demonstrations with the slogans “Enough, we don’t need any more tourists”, and “Tourists, go home!” are being resumed in popular tourist spots. – This is the situation in some parts of Italy and Spain. And, as stated in the European press, considering this trend, tourism is already scary.
“The reaction to the excessive flow of visitors is justified, but it should not turn into ‘tourismophobia,'” the local authorities try to assure. For example, in the Canary Islands, where anti-tourism demonstrations took place, the Minister of Tourism, Jessica de León, urged not to demonize tourists.
“Residents are worried about the excessive flow of visitors. They are right, I understand them. We must face this problem and fight it. But this should not turn into an open conflict. But for now, tourism phobia is only getting worse,” she complained.
Günter Ichlau, head of the Culture and Travel Group at the German Travel Agency’s (DRV) project department, added that he also sees the reaction to the overflow of visitors as justified, but worries that it will turn into a hostile attitude towards tourism shortly. At the same time, tourism is blamed for all the recent problems – intense heat, forest fires, etc. – and everywhere tourism is mentioned as a negative factor, and a hostile attitude towards tourism is created.
“The tourism industry is an industry with high added value. Some countries cannot exist without the development of tourism”, – assure representatives of the tourism industry. In the same Majorca, which is actively protesting, the conditions for the development of mass tourism for residents were not too favorable, and “the poor were terrible.” However, the bet on mass tourism and the “short-term approach” have led to the current problems, they add. And there is a risk that the atmosphere will continue to heat up and the increasing criticism of tourism will become even harsher.