Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Don't Follow the Crowd

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Don't Follow the Crowd

Article excerpt

OVER-TOURISM IS A HOT TOPIC FOR TRAVELLERS. HERE JUSTIN FRANCIS FROM RESPONSIBLE TRAVEL SHARES HIS ADVICE TO HELP EASE SOME OF THE PRESSURE ON POPULAR HOLIDAY SITES

LAST summer, 'over-tourism' became the big story in travel, when, in popular destinations around the world, local residents took to the streets to protest against the deluge of tourists.

They concluded that the benefits of tourism simply weren't worth the hassle. Tourists too, 100-deep trying to see the Mona Lisa from 30m away, or unable to get into St. Mark's Square in Venice, complained they came to see the sights - not just other tourists.

Parts of the UK have experienced Tour operators focus on the famous sites, but those willing to explore beyond these, will often make surprising discoveries the same problems, with complaints from Bath residents that tourism has ruined the city and councillors proposing to introduce a tourist tax to fund public services in times of austerity.

With a string of countries in Europe already charging a tourist tax, it surely won't be long before popular UK destinations consider the same.

So what is a traveller to do? In essence, there are a couple of options. The first is to find unfamiliar ways to see familiar places; the second is to seek out unfamiliar places. Here are some suggestions on how to do this: 1 LOCAL GUIDES KNOW HOW TO AVOID THE CROWDS THEY know when the daily cruise ship excursions start and finish. They know the lulls during the day, the different viewpoints, and the inside track on how to experience things in different ways.

From these guides, you'll also learn local people's perspectives and relationship to their heritage, not just what everybody else is reading in their guidebook. Plus, you'll be helping her or him earn a living.

2 IF YOU CAN, TRAVEL OUTSIDE OF PEAK SEASON THIS is not always possible, especially for families, but over-tourism is partly caused by everyone wanting to go to the same places at the same time. …

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