More people are travelling than ever before, and companies must be increasingly sensitive to local concerns.
More people around the world are travelling than ever before, encouraging a boom in global tourism that shows no sign of running out of steam, writes TTG. This also brings growing concerns about overtourism.
Last year there were more than 1.3 billion international travellers, a 7% increase on 2016, and following a strong showing since January another record performance is expected this year.
In Germany, Europe’s largest outbound market, bookings are up 18% over this time last year, according to research by GfK.
Demand there has been strongest for Turkey and Greece, which have seen business skyrocket by up to 50%, while Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco are also seeing a comeback.
“We can see growing mobility around the world and, internationally, we are heading for a record year in tourism again,” says Norbert Fiebig, president of the German travel association DRV.
“People are travelling from more countries and that helps to bring more stability to local economies. However, for some destinations rising tourism is also a growing burden, the key word being overtourism.”
A number of events were dedicated to this topic at the ITB Convention in Berlin. One focused on the measures destinations can take to avoid being suffocated by growing swarms of visitors, while another focused on drastic measures already made by some hotspots.
“As an industry, we must be aware that mass tourism does not strain [locals’] goodwill, for hospitality is crucial to making a destination attractive,” adds Fiebig.
“It is primarily up to destinations to exert a controlling influence. Intelligent marketing concepts can help to reduce numbers at hotspots, and many places are already pointing the way. Mutual solutions are required.”