A lot of cities around the world are experiencing over-tourism after a surge in travel following the last two pandemic years.
Some destinations are making a concerted effort to control tourism by implemented certain measures, such as daily limits.
To illustrate the extent of tourism in some of Europe’s most popular cities, Statista has published an info graph revealing the most over-touristed cities in Europe.
Using tourism data from 2019 (the last year before the pandemic), the info graph reveals which cities had the most tourists per local resident.
The Croatian city of Dubrovnik ranks first on the list with 36 tourists for every local resident. According to the most recent census, Dubrovnik has a population of just over 41,000 and had almost 1,5 million tourists in 2019.
Over-tourism in Dubrovnik has resulted in a range of issues such as overcrowding, traffic jams, damage to infrastructure, the displacement of local residents in the Old Town, poor quality tourist experiences, and a lower quality of life for the locals. Additionally, prices have skyrocketed due to the high demand caused by excessive tourism.
Back in 2017, after a recommendation from UNESCO that the Old Town of Dubrovnik should not have more than 8,000 people in it at any one time, the city made concrete steps to enforce daily tourist limits by installing 116 surveillance cameras and counting the number of visitors entering the city.
In 2019, Dubrovnik was selected as one of the 30 global destinations to undergo a Destination Assessment and Action Plan conducted by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC). This initiative was part of the city’s dedication to steer tourism in the direction of sustainability, highlighting their commitment to shaping a sustainable future for the industry.
In 2017, cruise ships stayed in Dubrovnik for four to five hours, but now, no ship can stay for less than eight hours, and often, they stay for ten or more hours.
Tied in second place are Venice in Italy; Bruges in Belgium and Rhodes in Greece, with 21 tourists per resident.
Over-tourism in Venice has been largely attributed to the presence of cruise ships, prompting authorities to ban them from the city centre. The last two cities in the top 10 are Dublin, Ireland, with 11 tourists per resident, and Tallinn, Estonia, with 10 tourists per resident.
You can see the full list here.