Is there too much tourism?
Tourism has become big business in just about every corner of the world. Here at home, foreign visitors come to see Disney World, Hollywood and our national parks. Because the United States is so large, it doesn't seem like visitors are crowding the locals.
But that is not the case in Europe as there is a growing backlash toward tourism and tourists, particularly in Spain and Italy. Cheap airfare has opened up the world for a lot of people, but it doesn't come without problems.
In a recent story on the issue the UK"s Independent chronicled how those in Barcelona feel about being awash in visitors and it's not good. According to a survey that city's governing body put together, the glut of tourists was cited as Barcelona's second biggest problem right behind unemployment.
And in some cases objections have become violent:
In Barcelona, which welcomes some 32 million visitors annually, a sightseeing bus was attacked at the end of July as it arrived at FC Barcelona’s iconic Nou Camp stadium. Masked assailants slashed the tyres and daubed graffiti on the sides of the bus.
The Guardian has also written about the issue. Venice in particular is under great strain as massive cruise ships dump passengers several days a week. More than 28 million people visit Venice annually, but its native population is under 60,000.