Many people love to travel. Seeing the sights from Paris, France to sun-soaked beaches around the globe can be exhilarating. But what about the people who actually live in these popular tourist destinations? What is it really like to live and work in a city that has become a tourist hot spot?
Global travel has increased
More people than ever are crossing exotic destinations off their bucket lists and traveling around the world. Some of the most visited destinations in the world include London, Paris, and Amsterdam. In the United States, New York City and San Francisco continue to be popular vacation spots. Global tourism is currently contributing over $8 trillion each year to the economy.
High tourism affects the city
Cities such as Amsterdam have already seen the results of a high number of tourists. Real estate costs have already risen. This is due, at least in part, to the demand for part-time rentals. A high number of tourists can also put enormous strain on infrastructure in some cities. On the plus side, lots of tourism can bring in extra revenue for a city. It also means that small business owners are more likely to thrive.
Tourism also affects individuals
While lots of visitors can cause changes in a city, it can also greatly affect individuals as well. In San Francisco, for example, traffic is often backed up when tourists come to see Lombard Street. This is known as the crookedest street in the world. Residents sometimes have to put up with traffic jams and visitors walking through their yards.
Cities can take steps to keep tourism in check
While many cities rely on tourism for the income it brings in, there are things they can do to make sure the tourism industry runs smoothly. This could include things such as limiting rentals like Airbnb and stopping cruise ships that want to dock. Other ideas that can keep tourism in check without driving away needed business include promoting lesser known neighborhoods and landmarks.
Tourists can do their part
Those who love to travel should also do their part to be good guests while visiting their favorite destinations. This could include things that are as simple as not littering and obeying noise ordinances. Knowing and following local customs can also go a long way toward promoting goodwill with the people who live and work in the community.
While having lots of tourists in your town can obviously be a good thing, there can sometimes be drawbacks as well. It’s important for the elected officials, as well as the residents, to plan ahead and make the necessary changes to keep the flow of tourists running smoothly. It’s also necessary for the tourists to do their part and be gracious guests.