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Tourist success can turn cities into theme parks in which the citizens themselves feel out of place or displaced from their noblest areas. We can see it in Venice, Prague, Barcelona, ​​or in the Old Town of Donosti, without going any further. The commitment to a certain model of mass tourism, which replaces local commerce with souvenir shops and leisure establishments aimed at “tourists”, creates the danger of distorting the city and causing it to lose its own character that should be part of its attractiveness. Faced with this problem, as is the case in Barcelona, ​​the Amsterdam City Council is proposing measures to reduce the massive presence of visitors, reports El País.

The Dutch capital receives 17 million tourists a year and forecasts point to 30 million in 2025, too many compared to a population of 800,000 within the municipal boundaries. Among the proposals put forward are limiting the maximum number of days that an apartment can be rented to tourists – from 60 to 30 days – and reducing the number of festivals and contests that are held in the city. Another recent example, on another urban scale, is that of the beautiful towns of the Cinque Terre in Italy, which had lost their characteristic tranquility and feared for their cultural survival due to the massive arrival of visitors. The authorities have established a maximum number of visitors for next summer -once reached, road access will be closed-.

Beyond establishing numerical limits, it is necessary to bet on a sustainable tourism model that protects the identity and the well-being of the residents, in which the citizens themselves are protagonists of the activity of the city, and in which said activity generates an “experience of the city” that is an attraction for the desired visitor.