post by : kim.verly
Around 25,000 tourists visit Lucerne every day and there are 81,600 inhabitants (in 2017). The majority of tourists doesn’t stay overnight. There are not as many tourists as in other places in Europe, but it seems to be too much for a part of the population. The main problem for the inhabitants is tourists travelling in groups and being all at the same place, at the same time because of that the inhabitants cannot walk peacefully in the city. One other problem is the rubbish management, tourists are not always respectful and put their rubbish everywhere. However, local merchants appreciate tourists because they need them to make a better profit.
One of the solutions to mass tourism in Lucerne would be to introduce a tax for all buses stopping in the city centre. This would reduce nuisances and help with infrastructure costs. Another thing would be to build an underground bus parking lot outside of the city, linked to the centre by a metro. This would help contain this influx of vehicles outside of the centre. Furthermore, an additional solution would be to involve the city’s inhabitants into the tourist offer. For example, these people could be able to advise tourists about unknown places that deserve to be visited.
Another idea would be to open an information place for the inhabitants, like the Evreux’s tourist office (France) did. This place includes display screens announcing upcoming events; a map of the region; a relaxation area and a shop selling local products. This would improve the inhabitants to visit a tourist office and encourage them to highlight the tourist’s side of their city.
Currently unknown, solidarity tourism could be another solution. This refers to trips organized for the purpose of exchange between tourists and the local populations, allowing populations to benefit from the resources generated by tourism. Concretely, this represents a short stay with the locals or an immersion in an unexplored ethnic group.
In France, the City of Paris has decided in 2017 to ban tourist coaches from travelling on certain streets of the city to deal with mass tourism and reduce traffic. For example, this is the case for the Latin Quarter and the Quai des Orfèvres. The municipality also wishes to create parking spaces outside the city. It also encourages travel agencies and tour operators to choose small vehicles. In addition to mass tourism, the city hopes that these changes will reduce pollution levels which are also a big problem in the capital.
In addition, the city has decided to limit housing to a few weeks per year and imposes taxes on landlords, to fight against housing saturation and prevent its inhabitants from finding more housing at decent prices.
Short explanation of the possible general application to tourism
In general, some cities may be the victims of their own success due to an excessive influx of people wanting to visit them. The main solution to this is to attract tourist groups outside the city centre.
The most harmonious method remains a cohabitation between these tourists and the local population: on the one hand, by involving the inhabitants more in the tourist offer, and on the other hand, by including the travellers into the local economy. However, care must be taken to ensure that these measures are not too extreme and do not scare tourists away by discouraging them from travelling.