Article Image
IPFS News Link • Vacation/Staycation

Cooler, Farther and Less Crowded: The Rise of 'Undertourism'

• by Elaine Glusac

The hike to Hanging Lake, just east of Glenwood Springs, Colo., is short and steep, rising more than 1,000 feet in just over one mile. The payoff vista — an idyllic turquoise pool fed by waterfalls, ringed in evergreens and seemingly hanging off the edge of a cliff — has been known to attract up to 1,500 hikers on a busy day.

It's too many for the fragile ecosystem. To regulate traffic, the United States Forest Service, with the city of Glenwood Springs, this year implemented a permit requirement ($12), limiting visitors to 600 a day between May 1 and Oct. 31.

Ticketed entry and visitor quotas have long been leading solutions to tame the tourist crowds threatening to overwhelm attractions from Machu Picchu to, more recently, Dubrovnik. Now, many other popular tourist destinations are trying a new tactic to maintain their tourism numbers without disturbing the attractions that draw them in the first place: positive redirection.