• Stephan Busch

We need controlled tourism. Limitations of tourist numbers and fees charged for visits are a first s

Fees and limiting numbers

Chile limits the number of tourist visiting the Easter Islands is only the latest move this month to protect what attracts tourists. Venice will introduce a charge of 3 Euro for visitors, Spitzbergen will charge 15 Euros and who wants to visit the Island of Komo has to pay 440 Euros. Top is right now Ruanda charging 1500 Dollar for 60 minutes if you want to visit the Gorillas.

Managing the multiple challenges of open air attractions, museums and events in times of continuously increasing tourist numbers is forcing organisers and Governments to balance and control the positive and negative effects. Mass Tourism is common today. The downside, “over tourism”– the point at which the amount of tourism become unsustainable for a tourist destination– made headlines all across the world in 2017. The United Nations World Tourism Organization forecasts international tourism will increase to 1.4 billion people by 2020which will require preventive action from all stack holders.

Damage to nature

As in Thailand the Governments of some countries are now sometimes forced to

close areas fortourists to protect nature. Visitors also add wear and tear to the natural environment of a destination in the form of pollution, overuse of natural resources such as water and forests, poor waste management, and harm to wildlife, including endangered species. For example, nearly 80 percent of the reefs in Thailand’s popular Koh Khai islands have been damaged by humans.The Philippine island of Boracay will be closed to tourists for six months following concerns of damage to its once pristine shores. Earlier this year Mr. Duterte said Boracay was turning into a "cesspool" and threatened to shut it down. The island, known for its white-sand beaches, attracted nearly 2 million visitors last year. The decision has prompted concern for the thousands of people employed in Boracay's busy tourist trade. The island is home to around 500 tourism-related businesses, which drew in annual revenue of $1.07bn (£760m) last year. The move follows growing concern over the island's environmental health. Officials had warned businesses had been releasing wastewater into the surrounding waters. The island's hotels, restaurants and other tourist businesses, are accused of dumping sewage directly into the sea.

Managing extreme tourism flows

Extreme masses of tourism can create serious crowd control problems. Crowd control of the religious tourism is an on going problem in Mecca where millions of pilgrims arrive each year. A lot of investment and planning has gone into managing the crowds but still stampedes when people get crushed to death happen almost very year. In 2015 more then 2200 Pilgrims were crushed to death during a panic ( first count from the Ministry was over 4.000 dead but was corrected as too high) - since 1990 the number of religious tourist killed in the masses, crushed to death stands at almost 5000 tourist at Mecca only.

Cruise ship passengers in Dubrovnik

Another extreme is created by the ever growing fleet of Cruise ships. Not only is the amount of cruise ships increasing every year but also the amount of passengers each ship can carry. In major cruise ship ports like Venice, Barcelona, St. Petersburg or the Caribbean Islands up to 12 cruise ships dock at the same time. The ships now carrying 3000 to 6000 passengers release all their passengers at almost the same time. With 12 ships this can amount to an average of 42.000 passenger who want to enter St. Petersburg, Barcelona or Venice every day. This comes only as an addition to the other tourists arriving by plane train or car. Busses are parked up to the horizon, streets are blocked and Museums and public places are filled at no time. To manage this crowds careful planning is needed and limits have to be set to avoid massive problems in all areas related to safety, hygiene and maintenance.

Creating employment

Travel and Tourism is accounting for 292 million jobs in 2016, or nearly
10 percent of global employment; by 2027, WTTC estimates the sector’s employment could rise to 380 million jobs. Last year, almost one in five of all new jobs created were linked to tourism. While this is good news it is important to notice that many of the jobs created are in the low wage sector. Countries with high unemployment like Spain or Greece are attractive for Tourist because of cheap prices. Hotels, restaurant and many tourism related business employ workers for minimum wage or far below minimum wage. With the increasing prices a normal life, food supplies or the rent of an apartment are for those locals unaffordable. The statistics for the ruling government are showing a lower unemployment while the workers themselves are forced into jobs that let them hardly survive.

Loss of the traditional job market

The increase in tourism often results in the loss of the traditional job market. Where local manufacturing provides less income then tourism the job market shifts concentrating the work force on tourism related businesses only. Once tourism fails – economic or political crisis – the traditional skills and businesses are not existing anymore and the effects are in many cases catastrophic. All north African countries and especially Egypt were hit hard by the political turbulences of the past decade but had their major income concentrated on tourism. Investments were lost, manufacturing non existing and the job market devasted.

There is much to see and we should all have a chance to visit those places keeping in mind that we have to preserve them for the generations to come.

Author: Stephan Busch, Academic Director at the State University for the Humanities Moscow RGGU, Faculty of Tourism & Hospitality earned his Master Certificate in Hospitality Management from Cornell University, USA.

Stephan Busch has an invaluable and diverse experience in launching operations, business development and service training- for hotel and cruise companies in Asia, Europe, Canada and Russia.

www.itsjusthotelsservice.com, contact@itsjusthotelsservice.com

© 2017 by Stephan Busch