Global Tourism Controversies

November 9, 2018 – Volume 28, Issue 40
Are destinations at risk from too many visitors? By Barbara Mantel


1814–1890Steam-powered trains and ships spur tourism.
1814English mechanic George Stephenson builds the first practical steam locomotive, which hauls eight coal-laden wagons at 4 mph.
1825The first public passenger steam train makes its inaugural run in England.
1840A Cunard Line steamship begins regular passenger service between Liverpool, England, and Boston, helping to make the trans-Atlantic crossing popular with wealthy tourists.
1859Nearly 10,000 miles of railroad track crisscrosses the United Kingdom.
1867Pullman Palace Car Co. of Chicago starts producing train cars, eventually manufacturing luxury sleeping and dining cars and attracting more tourists to rail travel.
1869The U.S. completes its first transcontinental railroad, making it easier for travelers to reach Western territories.
1872Congress establishes Yellowstone as the first national park.
1890Yosemite becomes a national park, followed by Mount Rainier nine years later.
1900–1935Automobiles and air travel transform tourism.
1900French tire company Michelin starts publishing its touring guide to restaurants and hotels.
1908Mount Rainier becomes the first national park to allow cars.
1926Air Commerce Act allows the U.S. Commerce Department to regulate the nascent airline industry; within 10 years several airlines are launched, including United Airlines.
1935Imperial Airways in the U.K. offers globe-circling flights, with stops in parts of the British Empire…. The number of gas stations in the U.S. reaches 200,000, boosting the travel industry.
1955–PresentMass tourism develops, and with it overcrowding.
1955Disneyland, a major tourist attraction, opens in Anaheim, Calif.
1963The United Nations holds a conference to examine the role of tourism in economic development.
1970U.S. economic output is double what it was in the 1950s, when the economy started to boom; the rising living standards spurred a tourism increase.
1973Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) proclaims an oil embargo, causing fuel prices to rise, hurting the travel industry.
1978Airline Deregulation Act in the U.S. leads to lower airline fares and greater travel.
1985Ryanair, Europe's first budget airline, is established; others follow in Europe and the U.S.
2000Travel website TripAdvisor is founded in Needham, Mass.
2007Home-sharing company Airbnb is founded in San Francisco…. A global recession begins; over the next year, international tourism arrivals decline by 4 percent, from 936 million.
2009Many countries begin to recover from the recession; international tourism arrivals rise nearly 7 percent.
2016Protesters hold anti-tourism marches in several European cities…. More cities begin to regulate short-term vacation rentals, which some blame for contributing to “overtourism.”
2017International tourist arrivals top 1.3 billion…. U.N. declares the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development…. Three U.S. national parks propose limiting visitors because of record overcrowding.
2018Protests against overtourism in European cities continue…. Research finds that dozens of World Heritage Sites on the Mediterranean coast are threatened by rising seas as a result of climate change…. Congress is poised to vote on legislation to allocate $6.5 billion for repairs to National Park Service lands.

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Document APA Citation
Mantel, B. (2018, November 9). Global tourism controversies. CQ researcher, 28, 945-968. Retrieved from
Document ID: cqresrre2018110904
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ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Tourism and Vacation
Nov. 09, 2018  Global Tourism Controversies
Oct. 20, 2006  Ecotourism
Jun. 17, 1988  America's ‘Vacation Gap’
May 04, 1984  Tourism's Economic Impact
Jul. 21, 1978  Tourism Boom
May 14, 1969  Summer Camps and Student Travel
May 18, 1966  Tourist Dollar Gap
Apr. 19, 1961  Two-Way Tourism
Jul. 20, 1955  Competition for Passenger Travel
Jul. 03, 1946  Travel Boom
Jun. 17, 1930  Foreign and Domestic Tourist Traffic
Climate Change
Consumer Behavior
General International Relations
Historic Preservation
Internet and Social Media
Land Resources and Property Rights
Motor Traffic and Roads
National Parks and Reserves
Popular Culture
Recycling and Solid Waste
Regional Planning and Urbanization
Regional Planning and Urbanization
Regulation and Deregulation
Travel and Tourism
Waterways and Harbors
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