When is too much of a good thing too much? Holland caught the world’s attention when it announced it was halting its tourism marketing as the small nation buckled under the weight of all the tourists that visited.
Now it may be Byron Bay’s turn, as the small coastal community in NSW so popular among A-List stars such as Chris Hemsworth has made it onto a new global map showing locations suffering the greatest rates of overtourism.
Byron was among 98 identified globally to be struggling with the burden of too many visitors by UK tour company Responsible Travel.
Byron attracts more than two million tourists annually who spending more than $700 million. However, the downside to that is that almost a fifth of all houses are holiday lets and the cost of those houses saw it overtake Sydney this year as the expensive place in Australia to buy a house.
Byron Mayor Richardson has spoken on the issue may times, saying that something needs to protect the community’s right to residential areas “that are filled with neighbours not tourists”.
Other destinations within the Pacific region identified as under pressure include Hawaii, Easter Island and New Zealand’s Matapouri Mermaid Pools, with Bali and Komodo Island.