OTHERWISE law-abiding citizens confiscating drivers’ keys, kettles that reek of crabmeat, and twenty-somethings unable to afford apartments; these phenomena seem unconnected. Yet locals see a common culprit: tourists. Troublesome tourists are nothing new. “Though there are some disagreeable things in Venice, there is nothing so disagreeable as the visitors,” quipped Henry James. But the volume of tourists in popular destinations is new, as well as the fact that many places are restricting or even banning them.

From October visitors will be turned away from Koh Tachai island, a snorkelling paradise in Thailand, to save the coral from death by a thousand plastic fins. Sun umbrellas will go from three nearby islands, as they curb tourism too. At the height of summer some 10,000 holidaymakers per day trundle off cruise ships into the alleyways of Santorini, a Greek island. The authorities now have a cap of 8,000 a day.

In the Seychelles, the government has banned large hotel developments indefinitely. Both Barcelona and Amsterdam have banned construction of new complexes in the city centre to appease locals. That answers a common...Continue reading