Over-tourism refers to large numbers of people descending on a few particular places on the globe, also referred to as mass tourism. This can lead to a massive strain on the local landscape and naturally erodes the resources in the area. Mass tourism is not sustainable; it is harmful to the planet and the people. The adverse effects can be environmental destruction due to unplanned construction of high-rise buildings, traffic congestion, air pollution, an eruption of the coastlines, and overuse of water resources.
Overcrowded cruise ships also pose a great threat to the environment. Cruise ships are often hundreds of feet long and carry thousands of passengers and crew. Therefore, they are capable of generating massive volumes of waste. For example, a typical one-week voyage with 3,000 people on board generates about 210,000 gallons of sewage, one million gallons of grey water, 37,000 gallons of oily bilge water, and tons of carbon dioxide.
A huge number of people in restricted spaces on cruise ships and contact between individuals from many countries make onboard vacationers susceptible to infectious diseases such as the coronavirus. Last year, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported thirteen outbreaks on cruise ships. The most frequent outbreaks reported on cruise ships include GI infections such as norovirus, respiratory infections and preventable diseases such as influenza, chickenpox, and measles.
In 2020, the coronavirus outbreak appears to be causing a longer-term negative impact. The future of the cruise industry is uncertain at this time.
Alternatives to Overcrowded Tourism
There are many ways to still get out there and enjoy wonderful and varied landscapes: alternative tourism.
Alternative tourism entails small groups of people, who evidently do not heavily impact the environment in a negative way. The main aim is to understand how to preserve the environment, natural resources, local traditions, and culture. Some alternative forms of tourism should enable travelers to appreciate the greatness and beauty of nature, for example, taking a boat and sailing to a not-so-well-known destination such as Croatia.
I’d recommend Zizoo, an eco-friendly boat rental company, offers vacationers a wide range of boats, from small powerboats to sailboats.
Once you rent a sailboat in Croatia, you can easily explore their stunning islands. Make your first stop at Krk Island, Croatia’s biggest island. Breathe in the fragrance of the Adriatic Sea, enjoy the pebble beaches scattered alongside the crystal clear water and spend some time learning one of the many island dances. Then sail to Rab Island, near the northern coast and dock at ACI Marina Rab. This is the place for a calm, peaceful atmosphere as well as a good swim.
Another island not to miss is Pag Island. It has the longest coastline, and its unique beauty will leave you marveled. You can also sample the local cuisine as Pag Island produces the country’s finest cheese, pungent and aromatic.
Once travel is permitted around the world again, please consider ways like this to prevent over tourism, while protecting our environment at the same time!