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Overtourism comes with a price—and increasingly, it’s being borne by travelers, not just destinations being smothered by their own popularity.

Travel advisors now have another cost to inform clients about before they depart for some of the world’s most popular destinations: user fees designed to offset and, in some cases, limit the impact of tourism.

This week, the city of Venice, Italy began charging a 5 euro ($5.35) fee to visitors who arrive on 29 peak, mostly weekend, days. Visitors under age 14, along with local residents, workers, and students, are exempt from the fees, which city officials hope will encourage travelers to visit on less-busy days.

Another popular destination in Italy, Lake Como, also is planning to introduce a visitor fee that would be applied to day trippers—though not those staying overnight in hotels or other accommodations—on the busiest days of the tourist season. Up to 1.4 million people visit Lake Como each year, and some tourism officials argue that day trippers contribute more in trash and congestion than income to the community.

Amsterdam is taking a different tack toward dealing with overtourism: limiting the amount of hotel rooms available to travelers. The Dutch city’s government this month announced a ban on construction of new hotels unless the new property is replacing an older one. The new rule applies to hotels in the city-center; hotel development in the suburbs is still being encouraged.

Any new hotel being built in Amsterdam must also be more modern and sustainable than the one it is replacing, city officials said. The goal is to limit hotel stays in Amsterdam to 20 million annually.

Protests Because of Overtourism in Popular Tourist Destinations

Some destinations seem to already be at the breaking point when it comes to mass tourism. On April 20, thousands of people turned out for protests in the capital city of Tenerife in the Canary Islands, calling for the Spanish governments to set visitor limits to the archipelago off the northwest coast of Africa.

Complaints about overtourism ranged from crowding to strained infrastructure, environmental degradation and rising housing costs due to property purchases by foreigners. About 2.2 million people visited the Canary Islands in 2023, up 13 percent from the prior year.

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