Prague Among Cities Most at Risk of Overtourism, Says Washington Post

The concept of “overtourism” has gained so much traction over the last few years, it was even named as one of the Oxford Dictionary’s 2018 Words of the Year.

Now, 20 more cities are on alert lest they turn into the future face of the problem, according to a new report from the World Travel & Tourism Council and commercial real estate firm JLL.

The report, called “Destination 2030,” examines the tourism “readiness” of 50 destinations around the world and groups cities into five types. The “emerging performers” category includes destinations where infrastructure and tourism momentum are growing along with the pressures associated with more tourists. Those cities were Bangkok; Cape Town, South Africa; Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; Istanbul; Jakarta, Indonesia; Mexico City; and New Delhi.

Another 13 cities — called “mature performers” — were described as having an established tourism infrastructure, strong leisure or business travel, and good positioning to manage current growth levels. “But there is a risk of future strains related to visit volume, infrastructure or activity that is testing readiness for additional growth,” the report said. It listed Auckland, New Zealand; Berlin; Dublin; Las Vegas; Lisbon; London; Los Angeles; Madrid; Miami; New York; Seoul; Seville; and Sydney in this category.

Some of the names most synonymous with crowds fell into the “managing momentum” type: Amsterdam, Barcelona, Paris, Prague, Rome, San Francisco, Stockholm and the Canadian cities of Toronto and Vancouver, B.C. Those are described in the report as having established tourism infrastructure and urban readiness but heavy leisure travel volume “with potential to cause strain on the city.”

The number of tourists arriving in Prague has been increasing steadily. Back in 1989 there were 1.6m tourists arriving in the Czech capital. In 2000 the figure was 2.6m and in 2017 as many as 7.6m, according to figures from Prague City Tourism.

Euromonitor study (2017), noted Prague had become the fifth most visited destination in Europe, after London, Paris, Rome and Istanbul, and experts are predicting further growth.

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