How Your Favorite Shows & Movies Are Causing Overtourism
You aren't the only one who loves Star Wars and Game of Thrones which means if you want to visit spots from the film, you're not the only one going.
As the price of international travel becomes more affordable, many people are now venturing out to locations they’ve always wanted to visit. There are always popular destinations such as Venice, Paris, or even London but many are journeying to familiar places from television and movies. International tourism grew 7% last year alone, almost double the typical growth of 4%. Many of these new tourism hotspots are happy to get the boost from international tourism but this can also lead to overtourism. While the views of King’s Landing look picturesque in Game Of Thrones, Dubrovnik is small and is having serious issues dealing with the overwhelming influx of tourists.
Here are a few locations that have become popular tourist destinations in the past few years thanks to different tv shows, movies, and other pop culture references.
The "Pearl of the Adriatic Sea," the Old Town of Dubrovnik can only hold about 8,000 people a day inside the famous walls, but there's been a lot more than that visiting. According to Bloomberg, there has been a 53% increase in tourist arrivals compared to the same time last year. Over 100,000 people have been to Dubrovnik in the past 3 months. The city is now limiting tourists in the city to 4,000 at any given moment and limited the number of cruise ships that can dock in the city.
This small, remote island off the coast of Ireland was the home of hermit Luke Skywalker in two movies in the Star Wars franchise. The island is only open to visitors from mid-May till September, which means tourists have to all be crammed into that small window. Since the movie premiered, Skelling Michael went from 12,5000 visitors in 2015 to 17,000 in 2017. The island has now enacted stricter visitation laws and limited the number of visitors to the small island.
Seems like Ygritte and Jon Snow both left the cave and now all the GOT fans have had to leave it too. The cave became popular after it was seen as the love-making spot for the Stark and the wilding. Since then, tourists have been disrespectful by leaving toilet paper, bodily waste and trash littering the inside of the cave. It has now been closed indefinitely by Iceland until they can figure out what to do with the influx of tourists to the area.
After Leonardo DiCaprio's 1998 film "The Beach," this beach became a popular tourist destination. Unfortunately, after years of abuse by tourists, Maya Bay is now closed to the public indefinitely due to the damage done to the coral. Officials are hoping keeping all the tourists out may help bring the ecosystem in the area back to life.
This beautiful Glen in the Highlands of Scotland has been the scene for various movies including James Bond's Skyfall, Harry Potter, and Braveheart. Since the spot has become known through the movies, visitors to the area have been illegally dumping as well as leaving their trash behind.
Known best as the King's Road in the series, GOT fans have been flocking to this stretch of road in Ireland and sadly, not being respectful to the landscape. Vehicles are now forbidden from being driven on the road, yet tourists still would rather drive in the area and risk ruining the ancient trees that line the road.
Blame it on Bieber. The canyon in Iceland is now closed to visitors after there was a large influx of visitors to the area after Justin Bieber shot a music video in the spot. The landscape suffered "environmental damages" due to heavy traffic in the area.
Since HBO has premiered the new Chernobyl tv show, fans of the show and dark tourists all over have been heading to the nuclear disaster site. Who knew a disaster zone could be such a great Instagrammable moment? Many are striking a pose in front of abandoned buildings, cars and the various spots where wildlife has taken back the former city. This site hasn't been ruined by overtourism yet but the visitor's health might be. Just a friendly reminder that visiting nuclear disaster zones are bad for your health.