Overtourism is becoming a serious problem in certain parts of the world. Various anti-tourism protests in crowded European cities have shown just what citizens feel and tour operators and hotels in destinations tourists love to visit are trying to find creative ways to address the issue. They are launching new efforts to help tourists avoid the throngs of fellow-travelers.
Off-season and off-the-beaten path trips
Intrepid Travel runs trips to Europe between October and March, which is considered the off-season. It also offers trips to less-visited places such as Belarus, Poland, Cyprus and Moldova. It offers trips to northern Peru instead of Machu Picchu and to southern Morocco rather than Marrakech.
Tour companies are taking travelers beyond typical tourist destinations to places where they can immerse themselves in the local culture. For example, Exodus Travels gives travelers an opportunity to go on the Moonstone Trek, rather than the popular Inca Trail.
On this trek hikers share the path with locals rather than other tourists. It also offers a Dalmatian Coast cycling trip in Croatia, where cyclists spend most of their days in small villages.
Travel in smaller groups is another way tour companies are addressing overcrowding. For example, National Geographic Expeditions allow small groups of travelers to venture where few others go.
Local guides and experiences
Many tour operators employ local guides. They are familiar with the area and understand the culture. This enables the outfitters to have their guests explore all parts of local culture, rather than just flitting in and out. The guests prefer it and it offers more benefit to the local economy.
In places where tourists abound, high-end hotels are finding ways to give their guests privacy. An interesting concept is that of hotels-within-hotels.
Aimed at luxury-oriented, privacy-seeking tourists, hotels-within-hotels are usually located on specific floors of an existing hotel and have their own entrance and staff as well as heightened amenities and services. Staying in a hotel-within-a-hotel is far more intimate and personalized.
An example is the Flagler Club., a 25-room boutique hotel located within The Breakers in Palm Beach, Florida. There’s a Nobu Hotel located inside Miami’s Eden Roc Miami Beach that features its own Nobu restaurant, fitness facilities, a spar, two pools and event space.
Hotel 32 on the top floor of the Monte Carlo Casino in Las Vegas offers complimentary limo pickup at the airport, private check-in, walk-in chromatherapy rain showers and free clothes pressing.
Helicopter rides and boat shuttles
Hotels are finding ways to offer their guests more privacy. This goes beyond arranging after-hours and private visits to certain destinations. They are even offering guest-only helicopter rides and boat shuttles to enable them to avoid the crowded roads.
Mass tourism is taking its toll and finding creative ways to deal with it can help tour operators and hotels stand out from the crowd, please their guests, have a positive effect on local economies and make sure that guests return for another visit.