You, the night and a gondola. It’s a description of a popular evening excursion from cruise ships in Venice. And it certainly sounds appealing–until you realize that the blissfully romantic experience may actually be shared with another couple in a gondola that’s threading through a canal in a convoy of other gondolas.
Mass tourism is a reality not only in Venice, but in once-pristine locales around the world. You name it: sunrise at Taj Mahal, sunset at Angkor Wat, or even a climb of Mount Kilimanjaro will be less a memory of a personal dream realized and more a struggle to elbow through the crowd to get a good camera angle for a selfie.
Over-tourism has gone from a debate to a call for action at popular destinations around the world. At a recent cruise industry forum accepted part of the blame and are looking for solutions to keep tourism sustainable.
“What we’re talking about is more sustainable tourism, doing it in a better way,” said Richard Fain, chairman of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. at the Seatrade convention in Florida.