Overtourism: Too many visitors can affect the locals’ quality of life
A new “tourism density” index has compared total visitor arrivals in 2016 to the permanent population.
Croatia wins the title of most tourists per head of population, according to Australian travel company Intrepid.
In 2016 the small Eastern European country welcomed 57,587,000 tourists, while their population is made up of just 4,170,000 people.
This means international visitors make up 1380.78 per cent of Croatia’s population.
That’s nearly 14 tourists to every local.
When visitors outweigh locals, it can become an issue for their cost of living and therefore quality of life
Its popularity is hardly surprising. Croatia features a beautiful Adriatic coastline and is a land of impressive natural beauty, not to mention a pilgrimage site for Game of Thrones fans.
Iceland, which is experiencing an overwhelming tourism boom at the moment, came second on the index.
The Nordic island has 334,250 locals but attracts a whopping 1,891,000 tourists.
So for every local in Iceland there are six tourists.
“When visitors outweigh locals, it can become an issue for their cost of living and therefore quality of life,” says Intrepid.
Overtourism: For every local in Iceland there are six tourists
Third on the list is Greece, followed by Spain, Italy and Mexico in the top six.
These countries don’t all necessarily welcome such high level of popularity. Italy has recently taken action to help its people cope with the incessant tourist invasion.
In Venice, tourist-only routes to super-popular landmarks, St Mark’s Square and the Rialto Bridge, have been created.
Locals had long complained that their day-to-lives were greatly impeded by the hordes of visitors.
Overtourism: Venice has taken measure to improve matter for locals fed up with tourists
At the other end of the spectrum, suffering from dramatic undertourism, is Papua New Guinea. There, tourists make up just 2.45 per cent of the population.
The southwestern Pacific country welcomes just 198,000 tourists yet has 8,084,990 locals.
Part of the word’s second largest island, Papua New Guinea is the world’s most diverse country linguistically with over 700 native tongues.
Roughly 80 per cent of the population live in rural areas with minimal or no facilities of modern life.
Intrepid conducted the research as part of its first Adventure Travel Index, which looks at the travel habits of the tour company’s travellers.