No matter what you call it - over tourism , overbooked or a foreign invasion - it's the same squeeze - a handful of destinations around the world are under siege by too many tourists.
The stampede is having a deleterious effect on the culture, environment and spirit of these places. Locals are getting pushed out. Foundations are crumbling. Tourists are complaining about other tourists.
To further help beleaguered destinations, we singled out 10 spots buckling under the weight of too many feet and provided alternatives that are similar in all but one category: They could use more - not fewer - tourists.
As if sinking weren't enough, the Italian city of canals and masquerade balls is drowning in over 30 million tourists past year.
The Italian city 75 miles west of Venice is the setting of two Shakespeare plays. Bard fans can practice their lines beneath Juliet's balcony while relationship-seekers can give her statue a hopeful tap instead of swiping right. Similar to Venice, the UNESCO World Heritage site comes with the requisite Old World charms, such as a piazza populated by statues of Greek gods, a performing arts venue inhabiting a Roman amphitheater and a 13th-century castle built to defend the Veronese from invaders.
Overbooked: Machu Picchu
The 15th-century Incan site has survived the Spanish conquest, but its downfall could be the daily 2 500 tourists.
Machu Picchu and Choquequirao might as well be twins: Both ancient Incan cities are in Peru's Andes Mountains and demonstrate the same architectural style and building techniques. They also have the same jumping-off point (the city of Cusco) and are accessible by multiday trek, though the Choquequirao Hike is more arduous than the Inca Trail. Choquequirao, which is three times larger than Machu Picchu, receives a tiny fraction of visitors - a dozen to 30 adventurers a day.
The capital of Catalonia is the most-visited city in Spain, drawing 32 million people, more than 30 times its population.
Trade one Spanish capital for another. The city goes has the world's largest Gothic church, the Seville Cathedral and boasts its own regional style that blends Islamic and Christian aesthetics. If you're pressed for time, go straight to the Royal Alcázar, a palace complex with a strong Mudejar streak.
The number of international air travelers has skyrocketed; visits between 2016 and 2017 grew 25% to 2.2 million, outnumbering the Icelandic population of 350,000.
Overlooked: Baffin Island
Baffin Island, in the way-north Canadian territory of Nunavut, is the fifth-largest isle in the world. The landmass in the North Atlantic Ocean shares several characteristics with the Scandinavian country, such as fjords, the midnight sun, the northern lights, the Arctic Circle and, according to recent archaeology digs, Vikings. During the Toonik Tyme Festival, a springtime celebration of tribal traditions including igloo-building, dog sledding and skijoring.
Overbooked: Mount Everest
The world's tallest mountain, which straddles Nepal and Tibet, suffers from some of the same ills as urban centers: trash and traffic.
Overlooked: Mount Toubkal
The tallest peak in Morocco's Atlas mountains is a mouse compared with Asia's lions, but it does dwarf most of the major mountains in the Americas, Europe and Oceana. The 13,671-foot-tall mountain sits within Toubkal National Park, about 40 miles south of Marrakesh. The climb takes about two days, and halfway up the mountain, you can carb- and mint tea-load in Sidi Chamharouch, a Berber settlement with a Muslim shrine.
Overbooked: Camino de Santiago
One of the world's most popular pilgrimage routes, which dates to the Middle Ages, saw more than 300,000 people completed the pilgrimage last year.
Overlooked: St. Cuthbert's Way
Established in 1996, the long-distance walk in Scotland is much younger than Camino de Santiago, but it too has an old soul. The 62.5-mile trek follows the life trajectory of Saint Cuthbert, the venerated patron saint of Northern England. The sojourn starts in the Scottish Borders town of Melrose, where Cuthbert set off on his religious calling in A.D. 650, and ends on Holy Island. The route, which is marked with St. Cuthbert's Cross symbols, takes four to six days to complete.
"Game of Thrones" has been a boon for HBO and fantasy fiction fans but a burden for the Croatian city with sometimes more than 10,000 people visiting on one day.
The Croatian fishing port shares the same coast as Dubrovnik and draws tourists and cruise ships during the summer, but not nearly as many as its southern neighbour. The town sits on the Istrian Peninsula in the Adriatic and was an island before the Venetians filled in the channel in 1763. The Italians, who twice controlled the city, have left their prints all over the place.
Tourists outnumber residents by double-digit millions, so it's no wonder the high of tourism has worn off.
Tulips, bikes and waterways define Amsterdam, but the trio also describes Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia. The European Commission crowned the city the European Green Capital in 2016, a distinction Amsterdam has never won. The Central Market is a feeding frenzy with an open-air and covered market, plus food shops and other retail.
In Euromonitor International's 2017 list of the top 100 cities, the marketing research firm expects visitation numbers to surpass 10 million by 2020.
Like Rome, the ghosts of Roman civilization haunt this Piemonte city in northern Italy. You can find them under your feet, on the cobblestone streets, and looming overhead, in the 16-sided towers bookending the Palatine Gate. Quadrilatero Romano, or the Roman Quarter, showcases the period's signature grid as well as ancient wall ruins and the excavated remains of a Roman theater.
The Royal Museums contain several institutions that track the city's arc from Roman times to Italian unification in the 1800s. The National Automobile Museum has amassed a collection of more than 200 vehicles from France, Britain, Germany, Poland, the Netherlands, Spain, the United States and, of course, Italy.
Overbooked: Cinque Terre
The daisy chain of five medieval villages along the Italian Riviera is wilting with 2.4 million annual visitors.
Overlooked: Porto Venere
The Italian village near Cinque Terre shares its UNESCO designation with the five hamlets, but it is not a Cinque. It is, however, one of three towns that stand guard over the Gulf of Poets, a muse for many writers and painters. The train does not service Porto Venere, so most people arrive by ferry or car, which keeps the crowds at a minimum.
Original story - Washington Post