Europe's tourist hot spots look for ways to cope with the crowds

BERLIN (Reuters) - Europe’s tourist hot spots are looking for new ways to cope with “overtourism,” where cities like Venice, Dubrovnik and Barcelona are struggling to manage huge crowds arriving daily on cheap flights and cruise ships.

FILE PHOTO: A cruise ship is seen in Venice lagoon passing beside the Piazetta next to the Piazza San Marco (St.Mark's square) in Venice, Italy, June 18, 2016. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch /File Photo

They are turning to smartphone apps and car-sharing promotions to try to cope with the overcrowding, which has upset the local population and also the tourists.

Some 9 percent of travelers who took part in a survey by consultancy IP said that overcrowding affected the quality of their trip last year.

Security concerns over beach destinations in Egypt and Turkey and a rise in cheap flights have boosted growth in international arrivals to countries like Spain and Croatia to more than 10 percent over the past few years, according to data from the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNTO).

“Overcrowded destinations are successful, but there is a thin line between success and failure,” Dubrovnik mayor Mato Frankovic told Reuters at the IT travel trade fair in Berlin.

But rather than trying to limit the number of visitors, who spend money on hotels, meals and souvenirs, the cities are coming up with ways to channel tourist flows away from the most popular attractions.

Dubrovnik aims to launch a smartphone app by the end of 2018 that lets users know w....

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