In a summer of sweltering heat, a new resentment is sweeping across Europe: Anti-tourism sentiment, in the form of demonstrations, anti-tourist organizations, and new legislation.

Tourism challenges a destination in a number of ways. A tourist population that is greatly in excess of the resident population puts enormous stress on tourism resources such as accommodations and transportation, and simply by restricting open space in which to walk. Venice, for instance, a city with 55,000 residents, manages to accommodate over twenty million tourists annually… but not comfortably. In July and August, 50-60,000 people a day visit the city. Venice is already delicate ecologically, and the impact of cruise ships on the city’s already-existing pollution crisis is not merely inconvenient, but destructive: Today, the average cruise ship produces around 21,000 gallons of human sewage, one ton of solid waste, 170,000 gallons of wastewater, and 8,500 plastic bottles daily.

The economic pressure to provide more tourist accommodations pushes the prices of resident housing beyond local means, and tourists willing to pay more for food and fine dining inexorably increase the cost of food and other necessities for residents, forcing them to pay tourist prices on service-worker salaries. Residents have begun pushing back against what they feel is a takeover of their cities by tourists. Arran, which is the young people’s segment of the Popular Unity Candidacy party of Spain, have slashed the tires of rental bicycles and a tour bus. An Arran spokesperson told the BBC: “Today’s model of tourism expels people from their neighborhoods and harms the environment.”

Adding to the problems inherent in accommodating large numbers of guests is the issue of poor visitor behavior. In Rome, guests paddle in the fountains – and even eat in them – and become loud and drunk in the streets at night. Tourist graffiti is rampant, and people take chunks of the Colosseum and the Forum as free souvenirs. In some places, guests have destroyed museum exhibits and installations, and North America has seen the destruction of a number of geological wonders by tourists acting carelessly – or even on purpose.

Spain, which saw 75.6 million visitors last year, is becoming stricter about enforcing the licensing of AirBNB rentals. Venice is banning the creation of additional tourist accommodations, and both Dubrovnik and Venice have installed “people counters” to stop the flow of tourists into the city when the numbers become unmanageable. Amsterdam has legislated against any further hotel construction in the city center.

The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) believes better local management, including crowd control and careful licensing and inspection programs, can solve many of the problems residents experience when they feel their city is “taken over” by tourists. The United Nations organization believes that the tourism industry can be a great ally in preserving historical sites and promoting conservation, if collaboration and cooperation are practiced.

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