Exhibition News February 2019 - Page 13

INTERNATIONAL Too much of a good thing Miroslav Ron č ák author of Prague and the impact of low-cost airlines, on how tourist hotspots around the world are tackling the issue of overtourism T he world is undergoing a period of tourism boom, and increasing tourist expenditure is a priority for most destinations. However, little has been done to avoid the negative impacts related to tourism development. Residents revolt because the quality of their lives is affected by rising prices, deteriorating ecology and ubiquitous tourists. Local shops for local residents are replaced by souvenir kiosks. Additionally, many tourists do not respect local culture and traditions. The speed of change in communities caused by tourism development is the most serious issue. With the rapid expansion of social media, and an increase in the number of tourists, smaller destinations can become overcrowded almost overnight. Many destinations aim to reduce the number of incoming tourists by using attractive off- season offers, diversified portfolios of tourist products, focussing on more well-off clients, or introducing tourist taxes or legislation amendments. One of priorities in London is to promote neighbourhoods outside the city centre. A good-practice example was the free mobile app ‘Play London with Mr. Bean’, which shows travellers different attractions around London that, when visited, earn points to redeem for vouchers and discounts around the city. The idea was to disperse those visitors across the city to avoid congestion. The Galápagos Islands issues permissions to groups of tourists, which allow them to visit sights only within a certain time period each day. Machu Picchu introduced a daily tourist limit. Venice plans to collect a fee for entering the historic centre. Barcelona has changed its legislation. By dividing the city into three zones, it regulates construction and reconstruction of accommodation facilities for tourists. As of 1 January, Amsterdam has charged a tax to all transit cruise passengers who arrive and leave by ship. However, Amsterdam also analyses the behaviour of tourists successfully and strives for regulation of the destination overcrowding using the chip-stored data collected through the Amsterdam City Card. This a smart use of new technologies. The ‘Discover the City’ application always sends users a message if the sight is more crowded than usual. It also proposes alternative options. Prague City Tourism aims to use 3D technology and augmented reality as a tool to reduce overtourism and to promote the locations that are less frequented by tourists. Dubrovnik strives to provide an information service to keep the tourist up-to-date and to offer various possibilities of months, days or times of day. It doesn’t tell them to avoid a particular place, it suggests that their personal experience will be Tourist arrivals in London 2016: 19,190.3 2017: 19,842.8 2020 (Forecast): 22,335.0 2025 (Forecast): 25,804.3 better at 4pm, rather than at 12pm. In addition to time management, Dubrovnik works intensely to optimise the movement of tourists around the city. It tries to expand public spaces even at the expense of unpopular measures, such as reduction of number of tables in restaurants that reach up to the street. A better education program and more realistic marketing will help with these aims. If travel agencies sell vacations to tourists on a basis of specific promises, it can be a problem if their actual experience differs. From an educational point of view, stakeholders and entrepreneurs have to present their tourism product in a more realistic manner. If travelling is really about getting to know other cultures, then tourists should be willing to respect local inhabitants and traditions. Being a successful destination also means providing high-quality services to encourage satisfied tourists to return. Understanding the impact of tourism on the quality of residents’ lives will make it possible to create an efficient strategy for sustainable development of the destination and to optimise the mutual relationships among all stakeholders involved in its development. Analysis and evaluation of all available data has become a ‘must do’ for destinations that want to prevent overtourism and move towards long-term sustainable development of tourism. I N T E R N AT I O N A L N E W S TOP TECH TRENDS ON SHOW AT CES The Consumer Electronics Show took place in Las Vegas from 8-11 January, providing a glimpse into the future of consumer technology. Apple, Samsung, LG, HTC and Nvidia were among the big players in attendance, many with new announcements and products to show off. Major trends include smart home devices, AI, autonomous and connected cars, and virtual reality. The latest in TV technology was also on display, as LG demonstrated a consumer version of its ‘roll-up’ OLED TV R, which retracts into a base when not in use. Smart doorbells were also featured by several companies, including Amazon-owned Ring’s Door View Cam. UK FIRM GIVES EVENTS EQUIPMENT SECOND LIFE IN INDIA DBPIXELHOUSE EXPANDS INTO NORTH AMERICA UK outdoor events company Rat Race Adventure Sports has sent £25,000 of leftover equipment to Malur in India’s Karnakata province, to create an exciting new playground. The equipment, which includes cargo nets, scaffolding and tyres, was originally used for an event in Australia. A team including members from Rat Race, and plant, tools and equipment hire firm GAP Group travelled from Britain to India to construct the park themselves. Jim Mee, founder of Rat Race, commented: “It seemed a waste to scrap the gear and dispose of it in an un-environmentally sound way, so we set to work on finding a new use for it.” DBpixelhouse has expanded its operations into the USA. The company will be working with several North American agencies and brands during early 2019, helping them to engage with delegates through the creative integration of digital content. The company also announced the appointment of Jen Renfer as North American business development executive. CEO David Bulley commented: “This is a really exciting opportunity for everyone at DBpixelhouse. We’ve been working with UK based clients on projects in North America for many years and we’ve always had a brilliant reception to the integration of our content and software with the tech.” exhibitionnews.co.uk | February 2019 13