In the last few months, there’s been a backlash against tourism. Protests in Barcelona, anger in Venice over rising rents and locals being pushed out of the city, Thailand choosing to ban “begpackers” — the examples are endless.
The problems with mass tourism
1. Locals priced out of housing
For all the good Airbnb has done, it has also created housing problems in many communities. In many cities such as Barcelona, San Francisco, etc., landlords command much higher prices for their properties by renting out to tourists through Airbnb than by renting out to locals, so prices are hiked up so disproportionately to local wages that many locals are unable to live in their own city.
In Venice, I struck up a friendship with a local man who explained to me that most Venetians have now moved across the sea to Mestre, on the mainland, because Venice has become unaffordable. Anyone who has been to Venice in the last few years knows that bumping into a Venetians amid the massive crowds is quite slim. So much for authenticity, eh?