For years, America’s favorite campground has restrictions on the number of visitors, insisting on reservations waaaay in advance for a campground (Yosemite National Park’s camping grounds can accommodate over 9,000 ), parking and instituting a shuttle system to limit the number of cars in the park. Too many people, traffic jams, and clogged hiking trails ruin the fun for everyone.
Did you know that the gorgeous Greek Island of Santorini gets over 10,000 visitors from cruise ships a DAY? Oh, you can still visit but if you’re on a cruise ship expect some wait time; the Island will now only allow 8,000 cruise guests during the busy season (May-September.)
If you’re flying in, no worries. There are no plans to put a cap on tourists who fly in since that number is considerably smaller.
After a huge rise in tourists visiting the pristine Antartica (penguins!) the Antarctic Treaty was signed in 2009 which, among other details, bars cruise ships with more than 500 passengers from landing sites; restricting landings to one vessel at a time (per site); and limiting passengers on shore to 100 at a time. And today visitors can’t just embark on an ice flow but have to plan their travel through approved operators and organizers. Even if you happen to be sailing past, authorities will have a stopwatch on you. Time to protect the environment, folks.
Maybe Mount Everest wasn’t on your bucket list, but like so many popular tourist sites, it is also restricting the numbers of travellers and climbers including adding an increased fee for foreign climbers –from $10,000 to $11,000, and the establishment of a liaison office at base camp to vet the climbers by experience, health, and climbing conditions. No more ‘novice’ climbers looking for bragging rights, and in the works is a plan to set minimum and maximum limits, plus forming smaller climbing teams to avoid ‘traffic jams.’
For seasoned travelers, this is not news but expect more places (looking at you Venice) to start restricting the number of tourists.