The question to ask people who complain about ‘over-tourism’ in Edinburgh – Donald Anderson

Holidays are hugely important to people and if cities like Edinburgh are off-limits, where will we all go for a break, wonders Donald Anderson.

Wednesday, 23rd October 2019, 11:45 am
Tourists on the Royal Mile (Picture: Ian Rutherford)

Where’s OK to go on holiday? One of the debates in Edinburgh is about the pressures brought by our phenomenal success as a tourist destination.

I was at a networking event recently when someone complained that Edinburgh was suffering from ‘overtourism’. Where do you go on holiday? I asked. “We like to get away from these crowds and in the summer, we were in an old farmhouse on an Umbrian hillside.”

I couldn’t help but point out that his summer holiday destination had been transformed much more than Edinburgh by tourism. That farmhouse will never be a farm again and if we all decided to go to villas in Umbria – assuming we could afford it, there wouldn’t be a lot of hillside left.

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So where is ok to go on holiday? I think it’s an important question. If busy cities like Edinburgh and tourist resorts aren’t where people should go on holiday, where are we to turn?

I know a friend who spends his time Munro bagging. He was horrified at the prospect of people stopping their jaunts abroad and taking en masse to the hills. His hills are already under severe pressure, he insisted.

Some have suggested not going on holiday at all and staying at home.

Holidays are hugely important to people and after you have worked hard all year, I do think everyone’s entitled to get away for a nice break if they can.

So, in the absence of alternative suggestions, the Anderson household will keep heading for some sunshine to recharge our batteries and learn about other countries, other cultures and meet lots of lovely locals and visitors.

I hope you get the chance to enjoy your holiday choice as well.