Whether it’s “chaotic” scenes at Buckingham Palace or feeling like a “sweaty sardine” in the world’s most beautiful village, some top destinations have struggled with overcrowding this summer.
As travel restrictions fade into the past, more tourists than ever seem to be heading out to explore. Unfortunately, this means some destinations have become overcrowded.
Express.co.uk spoke to Sarah Faith, senior values writer at Responsible Travel, to find out how British tourists can escape the crowds.
Sarah told Express.co.uk : “Travelling outside of peak times is one of the best ways to avoid the crowds in popular destinations. But you could also get off the beaten track a bit.
“There’s more to these places than the box office tourist sites. Find out what the locals love, explore the surrounding villages or spend time browsing local farmer, artisan and flea markets.”
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Although tourists often feel pressure to tick off a destination’s top sites, they could have a more rewarding experience heading to quieter spots.
Sarah added: “You’ll have more room to breathe, and have a more authentic experience too. Plus, you’ll help spread out the weight and benefits of tourism more. A win for everyone.”
However, when it comes to getting off the beaten track, Sarah says there are a few factors tourists should consider before booking a holiday.
She told Express.co.uk: “There are plenty of quieter destinations that offer exceptional culture and landscapes.
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“It’s important though that we don’t just transfer the problems of overtourism to another place. You can make sure your holiday supports local people by choosing locally owned guesthouses rather than Airbnbs run by out of town professional hosts, eating in restaurants that serve locally sourced produce and hiring a local guide to show you around.”
While Airbnbs can be a convenient option, locals in some top destinations have complained the properties price them out of the housing market .
Sarah said: “Places like Barcelona, Venice and Dubrovnik are great to visit, but they’re people’s homes too.
“When tourism takes over, it prices local people out of the housing market, closes local amenities and erodes the local culture and social identity that made us want to visit in the first place.
“Locals might be the first to lose out from overtourism but left unchecked, it kills off the tourist experience too. It’s in everyone’s interest to tackle the problem.”
France recently launched a campaign to encourage tourists to visit some of the country’s hidden gems. Leading attractions such as Mont St Michel have been overcome with crowds.
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