Overtourism has led to some of the most beautiful places in the world being overrun with people, buildings, pollution and rubbish. Locals get priced out of their home towns, fast food restaurants move in, hotel blocks get built with increasing speed, the natural areas filled with wildlife get concreted over. Tourism is no longer the benign money-spinner it was once considered to be, it has become increasingly hazardous for all involved.
So how do you still travel and see the world, without making the problem worse?
What is Overtourism?
Overtourism is simply when there are too many visitors for a particular place. One hundred extra visitors in a city would not have any real impact, but in a small beauty spot, it could be devastating.
When narrow streets are filled with traffic, when the locals are forced to move to the outskirts as every other home is an Airbnb, when public transport is stuffed with people, when local amenities can't cope with the volume of people and rubbish, when local wildlife is forced out to make way for new concrete buildings which go up without any thought to capacity; that is all overtourism.
Queuing for the summit of Mount Snowdon in Wales (photograph © Peri Vaughan Jones), where fights have actually broken out over queue jumping, and the crowds around the Trevi Fountain in Rome.