One of the most visited destination in recent times – Bali, is in a state of crisis. Why? Well, some of you might be shocked, some of you might say they had it coming – There are just too many tourists. Well, you can say that the concern is not “recent” – officials in Bali had announced a “garbage emergency” back in 2017 along a 6km stretch of the coast of Bali. Facts – hundreds of cleaners came together to pick 100 tons of debris each day.
Well the cause is pretty obvious – the tourists. ” Do we want more tourists? Maybe Not” says a Balinese Community Activist. With so many people coming in, what services can we offer them???
In recent times, a friend of mine visited Bali and by the way she explained it, she had a pretty awesome time! But hey – experiences differ from people to people. Another friend vowed never to visit the place. She went to an island that was supposedly “secluded” but to her utter dismay she saw boatfulls of tourists approaching the “secluded” island she went to.
Sadly, the reputation of Bali has led to this. Mass tourism is a major problem with an easy fix but it could have detrimental effects in the coming years – agreed, the government could easily close off the place and by not allowing any more tourists to come in, but this creates another problem. While tourism is such a massive source of income for Bali, what if the tourists abandon Bali in the process of conserving it?
While officials cordoning off tourist destinations because of over tourism is not uncommon, it could have severe side effects on the economy that is flourishing – but dependent on a variable – the tourists.
So, what can be done with the current state of affairs??? Well… we could tell people to litter less and try not to use so many disposable products – but that piece of advice falls on stone. So, what is the alternative remedy? Limited tourism? No tourism? Surely, No tourism cant be the answer? Well, to some places, that is the ONLY answer.
When tourism becomes such a major contributor to an economy, the government tends to prioritize tourists over their own citizens. But is that right though? Well, thinking from a financial perspective – it does not sound wrong
There are sad examples to hold that statement true. An anonymous report states that hunting tour operators rendered 6,800 people homeless by clearing out 185 Maasai homes in Tanzania to make space for hunting grounds.
While citizens lash out too – you can see anti-tourism graffiti all over Spain with statements like “why call it tourism season if we ca’t shoot them?” such statements might be enough to send many tourists packing, but the numbers have far from dwindled.
As tourism becomes cheaper, the world becomes smaller. We have come a long way from 1996 when we saw a minor 560 million trips abroad compared to 2016 where humans made 1.2 Billion trips abroad. That number has EXPLODED.
Now, as more and more people start to go around the world, of course they will carry more disposables which end up polluting the environment. In recent times, India closed some of its most famous treks in the mighty Himalayas precisely due to this problem
As the current situation demands, with Covid-19 lockdowns in effect in most countries, travel is shut down, but as the lockdowns all over the world open up, how will travel enthusiasts react? Of course – the first couple of months it will be quiet, but, what after? How will governments tackle this “over-tourism” problem? It remains to be seen.