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Over-tourism is an obstacle for Italy | The affected regions


The alarm about the over-concentration of tourists in many Italian cities is sounded in a recent survey by Demoskopika.

Demoskopika used five indicators to create the General Index of Tourist Overpopulation, which are: tourism density, accommodation density, tourism activity, total exploitation and the share of municipal waste attributed to the tourism sector.

As the survey revealed, seven provincial destinations are the most affected by the phenomenon of over-tourism: Rimini, Venice, Bolzano, Livorno, Trento, Verona and Naples. For them, the level on the researchers’ rating scale is “very high”. In other words, overcrowding in these areas is becoming more than a concern, with critical implications for local quality of life and the sustainability of tourist destinations.

The positioning of tourist destinations such as Rome and Florence, which are ranked at the “high” level of the index, is also extremely important. In these destinations in particular, according to the researchers, there is considerable pressure on local resources, with obvious problems in managing tourist flows.

On the other hand, Benevento, Rieti, Reggio Calabria, Iberia and Campobasso suffer less from ‘massive tourist presence’. In these destinations, which are classified as ‘very low’, tourist crowding is minimal, with limited impact on infrastructure and residents. Thus, for example, from 64 tourists per inhabitant in Bolzano to less than one tourist per inhabitant in Benevento.

Analysing the concentration of tourists per unit area, Venice registers over 14,000 tourists per square kilometre compared to just 41 in Enna.

But what about the contribution of the tourism sector to urban waste generation?

In this case, the value of waste generated per inhabitant, which is the difference between the per capita production of urban waste calculated on the basis of the resident population and the per capita production of urban waste calculated on the basis of the ‘equivalent population’, which is obtained by adding to the resident population the tourist arrivals recorded during the year and distributed over 365 days, also shows a marked dichotomy: it ranges from 71,65 kg per tourist in the province of Rimini to a minimum value of 0,92 kg per tourist recorded in the region of Isernia.

“Overtourism,” says Demoskopika president Raffaele Rio, “not only threatens the sustainability of our most popular destinations, but also risks undermining the quality of experience for visitors and the quality of life for residents. Tourist overcrowding is an alarm bell that calls us to action, promoting more responsible and sustainable tourism.”

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