Hallstatt, Austria’s picturesque UNESCO World Heritage town, attracts so many tourists – more than a million each year – that the locals have had enough. In the face of local protests against excessive tourism, the city government has decided to erect a wooden fence to prevent visitors from taking photos in one of the most “instagrammable” places.

This barrier, intended to prevent tourists from disrupting the lives of residents, sparked such a reaction on social networks, according to Euronews, that it had to be removed.

Instead, the mayor of Hallstatt announced the installation of a banner reminding tourists that people live in the area. “To curb overtourism, Hallstatt has already introduced daily limits on the number of buses and cars that can enter the city,” reports Euronews. “But these ceilings are regularly reached and Mayor Alexander Scheutz told the Austrian press that residents just wanted to be left alone. »

Other destinations affected by overtourism

Victims of overtourism, many destinations in Europe are so crowded that exasperated locals are demanding greater restrictions on visitor numbers, especially in the most popular selfie spots.

Other measures taken recently in Europe to combat overcrowding include capping visitor numbers in Marseille, France, and banning cruise ships in Venice, Italy.

Several Spanish islands have recently expressed frustration with the influx of British tourists. The Spanish island of Lanzarote has declared itself a “tourist saturated zone”, while Majorca plans to limit the number of tourist beds to 430,000 on the whole island.

The picturesque town of Portofino, on the Italian Riviera, which has only 400 inhabitants but is overrun with thousands of visitors, has established “no public” zones. Anyone caught lounging too long on the quay between 10.30 a.m. and 6 p.m. risks a fine of 270 euros.

“Overtourism has become a major problem all over Europe, from beaches to popular capitals,” adds Euronews.

The most frequented cities

Deutsche Welle (DW), Germany’s international radio, identified the most overcrowded cities that “boast great architecture and culture, but attract so many tourists that locals suffer”:

  • VeniceItaly, with millions of people flooding the city throughout the year, has 21 tourists per capita and suffers from serious environmental problems due to its unique location in the middle of a lagoon;
  • Romein Italy, welcomed 26 million tourists last year, which forced it to take measures such as restricting access to the Trevi Fountain and banning sitting on the famous staircase of Trinidad-des-Monts;
  • praguein the Czech Republic, with only 1.3 million inhabitants, welcomes more than eight million tourists a year;
  • Dubrovnikin Croatia, a famous cruise destination, has been propelled onto the tourist maps thanks to Game of Thrones and welcomes more than 1.5 million visitors a year;
  • amsterdamin the Netherlands, where residents see their streets invaded by hordes of boisterous tourists, is expected to welcome 18 million visitors this year;
  • Barcelonain Spain, which has a population of 1.6 million, received a record number of 12 million visitors;
  • Lisbonin Portugal, which has one million inhabitants, receives between 4 and 5 million tourists a year.

Other European capitals crowded with tourists

Euronews’ list of Europe’s busiest summer capitals includes:

  • Dublinthe ever-bustling Irish city with 11 tourists per capita, “home of Guinness and brewery tours which have welcomed nearly 23 million people since the brewery opened in 2000”.
  • Tallinncapital of Estonia, with 10 tourists per inhabitant.
  • Parisin France, with nine tourists per inhabitant.
  • Athensin Greece, with eight tourists per inhabitant.

The European portal The Mayor.EU includes in its list:

  • Bruggein Belgium, on par with Venice in terms of the number of tourists per inhabitant.
  • Rhodes, Greece, also tied with Venice and Bruges. Much like Mykonos and Santorini, the Greek islands with small communities were never meant to withstand the onslaught of millions of visitors.
  • ReykjavíkIceland, with 16 tourists per capita, has become increasingly popular in recent years thanks to its diverse and unique landscapes.

The most frequented countries during the summer

Spire Global, a spatial data analysis company, has identified the three busiest countries during the summer based on international flights over the past year:

  • Greece : With 287,070 international flights during the summer months, Greece ranks first. The number of international flights increased ninefold in August, Greece’s busiest month, compared to February, the country’s quietest month.
  • Croatia : In second place, the number of international flights quintupled during the summer, totaling more than 55,150 inbound flights in July.
  • Albania : Third, with more than 35,530 international flights in July, Albania sees its density of flights multiplied by five during the summer compared to the low season.

Social Media Inspiration

If you want social media to inspire your next trip to Europe, Holidu, the vacation rental portal, has revealed the most popular cities on TikTok:

Barcelona106,100,000,000 views; Paris64,800,000,000, ManchesterEngland, 10,100,000,000; Lyons, France, 9,300,000,000; Stuttgart, Germany, 9,200,000,000; Porto, Portugal, 3,500,000,000; Amsterdam, Netherlands, 9,900,000,000; Marseilles, France, 9,200,000,000; DublinIreland, 5,600,000,000; BordeauxFrance, 2,600,000,000; LuganoSwitzerland, 657,700,000; Madrid32,600,000,000; Milano13,600,000,000; Mannheim, Germany, 3,000,000,000; And SalzburgAustria, 1,400,000,000 views.

For a stay in a less crowded city in Europe, Holidu suggests Berlin in Germany, Madrid in Spain, Brussels in Belgium and Budapest in Hungary as “least visited” capitals, with barely two tourists per inhabitant.

Article translated from Forbes US – Author: Cecilia Rodriguez

<<< To read also: Despite the repercussions of the strikes on tourism, France remains a winner >>>