Tourists on a cycling tour. Finding ways to distribution tourism around a country instead of concentrating them around a select number of attractions could ease the impact of tourism on local communities. Image: Yaana Ventures Any visitor to Phuket or Siem Reap would understand first hand what “ overtourism ” looks like: the thronging crowds, loud music blasting into the wee hours, traffic that goes nowhere, and beaches defiled by trash and sewage. Two tourist hotspots in Southeast Asia, Boracay in the Philippines and Koh Phi Phi in Krabi, Thailand , were this year shut to tourism to protect them from further environmental degradation, though the former has since reopened. Overtourism is simply tourism that has not been responsibly managed, and implementing better regulations and business strategies to spread visitors beyond key tourist cities can make all the difference for the infrastructure and the environment, says Willem Niemeijer, chief executive officer of Bangkok-based travel company Yaana Ventures and a long-time proponent of sustainable travel. Central to Yaana’s operations is Khiri Travel, its tour operating arm that was one of the first two Southeast Asian tour operators to be certified sustainable by Travelife, a European sustainable travel certification programme. Yaana’s […]

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