More than a quarter of Britons would support popular tourist spots introducing time slots to control visitor numbers - if destinations were to take steps to deter or limit travellers.
A YouGov poll asked more than 3,500 UK adults which of four options they would support should popular locations or landmarks seek to curb numbers or actively dissuade tourism.
The four options were: closing a location or attraction completely for a period of time; creating an app to show how busy it is at any given time; introduce time slots for entry; or increase tax on visiting.
Respondents were also allowed to answer “other” or “don’t know”.
Time slots for entry proved the most popular, with 27% of the vote, although this was closely followed by “don’t know” which took a quarter (25%) of the votes.
Next most popular was the app (18%) while increasing tax and shutting the attraction entirely for a short period were neck-and-neck on 14%.
The remaining 2% went to “other”.
The data, unsurprisingly, shows declining popularity for an app as the age range increases. Some 23% of 18 to 24-year-olds supported an app-based solution. This fell to 20% for 25 to 49-year-olds, 16% for 50 to 65-year-olds and 15% for 65%.
Interestingly, introducing time slots, setting aside the “don’t know” vote, was the most popular choice across all age ranges, taking 26%, 25%, 28% and 31% of the vote, respectively, across the four age ranges.
Overtourism has become a burning issue across travel in recent years, with some of the world’s most famous, beautiful, iconic and important sites and destinations creaking under the sheer weight of visitor numbers, and placing significant strain on communities often unable to cope with demand.
Speaking to TTG last November, Aito chairman Derek Moore said there needed to be an “industry-wide” discussion about whether travel should take a “moral or commercial” approach to the issue, but warned any efforts to curb such mass tourism would not come without significant barriers.
YouGov polled 3,569 UK adults in total on April 17. The results (Q3), as cited, are weighted to be representative of the population.