Degradation of countries by tourism

Other Names:
Damage by foreign tourism
Excessive tourism

Tourism has become the biggest employer and fastest growing industry in the world.  Tourism brings many benefits to communities around the world. But tourism hotspots are feeling the strain as tourist numbers increase. Overtourism describes a situation in which a tourism destination exceeds its carrying capacity – in physical and/or psychological terms. It results in a deterioration of the tourism experience for either visitors or locals, or both. Locals resent being crowded out of restaurants and parks. They resent paying inflated prices. Most of all they resent tourists behaving badly. 





It was reported in 1997 that in order to draw more visitors, some St. Croix (US Virgin Islands) interests wanted to open a casino, which would change the character of the quiet, bucolic island.

In Hawaii, Maui is a very popular vacation destination, but visitors there have to put up with mainland-like traffic jams.

In summer, the South Rim of the Grand Canyon can seem as crowded as New York's Fifth Avenue.

In cities at tourism’s bleeding edge, such as Venice, resentment has boiled over into anti-tourism protests.

In Barcelona the cause against foreign visitors has been embraced by left-wing nationalist activists. Their view is expressed in graffiti around Barcelona: “Refugees welcome; tourists go home.”

Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC)
Caribbean Alliance for Sustainable Tourism (CAST)
European Network for Sustainable Tourism Development (ECOTRANS)
Foundation for Aviation and Sustainable Tourism (FAST)
Network of European Regions for a Sustainable and Competitive Tourism (NECSTouR)
Sustainable Tourism Certification Alliance Africa
Sustainable Tourism Certification Network of the Americas (STCNA)
UNWTO Sustainable Tourism for Eliminating Poverty Foundation (UNWTO ST-EP Foundation)
World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)
The International Ecotourism Society (TIES)
World Indigenous Tourism Alliance (WINTA)
European Alliance of Responsible Tourism and Hospitality (EARTH)
European Centre for Ecological and Agricultural Tourism (ECEAT International)
Mesoamerican Ecotourism Alliance (MEA)
World Committee on Tourism Ethics (WCTE)
Asian Ecotourism Network (AEN)
Global Ecotourism Network (GEN)
EUROGITES - European Federation of Rural Tourism
European Cultural Tourism Network (ECTN)
European Federation of Food, Agriculture and Tourism Trade Unions (EFFAT)
International Social Tourism Organisation (ISTO)
Network of European Regions for a Sustainable and Competitive Tourism (NECSTouR)
World Tourism Forum
World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC)
Ecological Tourism in Europe
Better Tourism Africa
Institute for Tourism and Development
International Institute for Peace through Tourism (IIPT)
Solidarity Tourism for Development
Working Group on Tourism and Development
World Tourism Education and Research Centre (WTERC)
World Tourism Forum Lucerne
Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 11: Sustainable Cities and CommunitiesGOAL 15: Life on LandGOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong InstitutionsGOAL 17: Partnerships to achieve the Goal
Problem Type:
C: Cross-sectoral problems
Date of last update
17.10.2021 – 06:10 CEST