Overtourism

Posted on Updated on

We just recently learned of the Overtourism concept, which is ironic because we frequent (and I guess you could say promote) Paris, one of the largest tourism capitals in the world

UN releases report on how to curb ‘overtourism’ The Nation

A Major contributor to Overtourism are monster cruise ships, where thousands of passengers ascend on a city and fill it’s streets (Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin, Copenhagen, Lisbon, Munich, Salzburg and Tallinn, according to the linked article from The Nation) some of these cities are land-locked and not subject to Cruise Ships.
I was surprised to see Berlin in this list which we visited maybe 10 years ago, although at that time there was no rapid transit to the airport, which was a nightmare
Seven tourist stereotypes – which one fits you? Morning Post

Maybe Paris is better at managing tourism. When Georges-Eugène Haussmann (urban planner) redesigned the city, he demolished areas to create grand boulevards. This improved movement through the city and addressed the narrow streets which were difficult to police and could harbor riots, protests and revolution.

Another means of managing Overtourism is to raise the cost of visiting the city, illustrated by the cost of a fancy Paris meal or a large luxury hotel room in central Paris

In response, we visit museums at the beginning of the day before they fill. We prefer to stay in major hotel chains on the outskirts of Paris, where the hotel rooms are more affordable and predictably clean and spacious. (in fact we were embarrassed when an associate recently asked our Hotel recommendations for a trip to Paris, and we could not recommend many establishments within the core of Paris)

The Eiffel Tower seems to be a Poster Child of Overtourism.
Our Solution: We prefer to admire it from a distance, or maybe run under the Tower early in the morning before any tourists arrive. There are other high places to view the panorama of Paris including the Tower of Notre Dame, the Basilica of the Sacred Heart (atop Montmartre), especially the upper floors of the Centre Pompidou, perhaps our favorite perch in Paris. Even the top of Arc de Triomphe provides perspective, but we have always been more impressed with the climb (the journey) up through the Arc, rather than the destination, it’s barren rooftop.

Versailles is another prime example of Overtourism. The front courtyard fills with an impressive line that snakes through this large space.
Our Solution: We spend a couple nights in Versailles (affordable rooms outside of Paris) From what we see, not many of the tourists spend the night in Versailles. At the end of the day the lines diminish considerably, but the best reason to overnight in Versailles is an early morning run through the empty Gardens of Versaille as soon as the front gate opens at 8:00. We run for some period of time before we see anyone, the Gardens are empty.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s