At the start of another tense summer between local people and holidaymakers, and weeks after The Wall Street Journal described tourism as “generating a global backlash”, Responsible Travel launched a documentary to drive home the message that tourism has reached a critical point.
Crowded Out: The Story of Overtourism was written and produced by activist travel company Responsible Travel. According to the company, this is the first film of its kind to document the issue of overtourism from the perspective of local people in hotspots such as Venice and Barcelona as well as further afield in places such as the Gili Islands.
Justin Francis, CEO and founder of Responsible Travel who presents and narrates the film, commented: “We’re witnessing, for the first time on such scale, direct conflict between governments and local people as residents take action and make their voices heard.
“Change is on the horizon: the travel industry will now be asked to justify itself by locals and governments alike. Growth at all costs is no longer sustainable. It’s a momentous realisation.”
Francis added that locals have been “voiceless” for decades, but now is time governments must start listening to them.
Venetian resident, Alessandro Bressanello – who has been campaigning locally for change – explains in the film: “It’s a fight. Every day it’s a fight”.
Harold Goodwin of The Responsible Tourism Partnership also stated in the film: “We need rebellious tourists and rebellious locals to achieve change. It won’t just happen without some degree of rebellion by tourists being turned off destinations and locals saying ‘enough is enough’.”