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Tourist hot spots from Venice to a town near Mount Fuji are taking drastic measures to cope with overtourism

Alexandra Bacon   

Tourist hot spots from Venice to a town near Mount Fuji are taking drastic measures to cope with overtourism
  • A barrier has been erected at a popular Instagram spot in Fujikawaguchiko to curb overtourism.
  • Locals complained that tourists had caused disruptions, including overcrowding and traffic issues.

Overtourism has been affecting cities, towns, and picturesque spots worldwide, and some local officials are starting to take measures to stop it.

In Venice, a tourist fee is being trialed to curb the problem, and other cities are beginning to take note. Residents in a village on Menorca, an island off Spain, have imposed restrictions on visiting hours for tourists and even threatened to cut tourist access to the village altogether, per The Guardian.

This week, a large mesh barrier was erected in Fujikawaguchiko, a town in Japan with a view of Mount Fuji that has become a popular spot to snap the country's largest peak. The plans were drawn up as locals began complaining of hoards of badly behaved tourists coming to the area.

"It's regrettable we have to do this, because of some tourists who can't respect rules," a town official told Agence France-Presse.

The official told the outlet that tourists had caused disruption to the local area, including overcrowding the area, leaving behind trash, and ignoring traffic regulations.

Tourists are flocking to a specific spot near a Lawson convenience store.

The spot was seen as "very Japanese," the official explained, as the convenience store is unique to Japan and has a view of Mount Fuji right behind it.

"Social media has a big part to play in this restriction, and we're seeing an increase in this kind of social-driven, hyper-local overtourism," Huw Owen, cofounder of tailor-made holiday platform TravelLocal, which offers trips to Japan, said in a statement shared with Business Insider.

"This is essentially where tourists flock to a specific location to get the perfect shot for their social channels and, unfortunately, in some cases, act irresponsibly and without respect for the local community and environment," he added.

But Fujikawaguchiko isn't the only place that's putting measures in place to combat overtourism.

A tourist fee is being trialed in Venice

Over in Venice, a controversial tourist fee has been implemented. Officials in the Italian city launched a trial 5 euro fee — about $5.40 — for day-trippers during its peak travel season.

The fee will apply on 29 peak days between April and July. Locals and people staying overnight in hotels don't need to pay the fee to enter the ticketed area, but they still need to book online, which has been a point of contention.

Even though the fee is meant to make the city more liveable for residents, many are unhappy about it.

Some locals protested, holding banners saying: "No to ticket, yes to houses and services for all," and others even clashed with police, CNN reported.

Some said that the fee is too small to deter the crowds and that it violated the principle of freedom of movement.

A picturesque tourist town in Switzerland is also considering a tourist fee

Lauterbrunnen, a picturesque mountain town in the Swiss Alps, has also become a tourist hot spot.

But the influx of tourists has meant that the population of just 2,400 has to face congested roads and public transport, higher rents, and increased pollution, Euro News reported.

To cope, the mayor is considering introducing a fee of between 5 and 10 Swiss Franc ($5.50 to $11) for visitors arriving by car, the outlet added, citing Swiss publication Berner Zeitung.

"The exception would be guests who have booked an offer such as a hotel or an excursion or who arrive by public transport," the mayor, Karl Näpflin said, per Swiss Info.

The Mayor of Como is also considering a tourist fee

Lake Como has been going viral on TikTok, with tourists sharing videos of the packed trains heading to the lake.

One TikTok has racked up 3.3 million views, showing a packed train heading to Lake Como. While the person who posted the video said in that caption that it was "totally worth it," people in the comments had other ideas.

"Imagine me, a local, taking that train everyday to go to uni and come back home it's a NIGHTMARE," one user commented.

Another TikTok with 5.3 million views showed a similar phenomenon. In the video, people are seen spilling off the train platform and sitting on the side of the train tracks while waiting for the train from Varenna (Lake Como) to Milan.

The city's mayor, Alessandro Rapinese, told The Times that on busy summer days, the city can attract 300,000 visitors.

He said that it's led to them considering a Venice-style tourist tax on visitors, and he plans to start charging €50 ($54) for each private coach that arrives.

"You have no idea how difficult it is to be mayor when you are fighting tourism," he told the outlet.

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