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Managing Overtourism an Increasing Feature of Global Travel

FILE - Tourists crowd the Grand Canal on traditional Gondola Venetian boats, in Venice, Italy, Sept. 28, 2014.

Venice is planning to divert massive cruise liners. Barcelona has cracked down on apartment rentals.

Both are at the forefront of efforts to get a grip on "overtourism," a phenomenon that can disrupt communities, imperil fragile buildings and harm the experience of travelers.

Tourism-phobia has become prevalent in popular destinations, particularly major cities in Europe where visitors often congregate at the same places at the same time.

Slogans such as "Tourists Go Home" and "Tourists Are Terrorists" have been heard, a clear sign of a backlash.

Taleb Rifai, Secretary General of the United Nations' World Tourism Organization, spoke about the phenomenon at the World Travel Market, an industry meeting in London last week.

Rifai said tourism must be managed in a "sustainable and responsible" way that benefits communities.