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Social networks' impact on destinations

Faced with unprecedented visibility, some destinations struggle to control the influx of tourists. Between the damage, pollution, or nuisance caused by too many visitors, it is a whole ecosystem that must sometimes reinvent itself. Throughout the world, many places are victims of their success.

However, this phenomenon is not new. If today social networks and the web in general are the main vectors, examples throughout history are legion. Niagara Falls, Angkor Wat, and even the creeks of Marseille, great popularity implies great responsibility, and great risk. Thus, mass tourism, so popular only a few years ago, is now being debated.

But this is no longer only the prerogative of the "big guys". From one day to the next, lost corners become overcrowded. And if the popularity of a destination was, until recently, a thoughtful and voluntary act of travel organizations, its recent anarchic evolution due to the acceleration of the transmission of information and the world in general is now a fact.

So, what should be done?

If certain places must be forbidden to preserve the natural and cultural heritage, or for simple security reasons, it is necessary to rethink the tourism model and to raise the awareness of its actors. Solutions are possible: eco-tourism, responsible tourism, and even sport tourism are to be taken into consideration. It is therefore more a question of regain control than of outright prohibition or laxity (in most cases).

Effect rather than cause, social networks remain a tool to be exploited and are, in conclusion, only the logical continuation of a decades-old resonance.

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