It’s fair to say 2020 was challenging for the travel industry, but it’s not been an unmitigated disaster.
Pre-pandemic, overtourism became such an issue that the Oxford English Dictionary named it one of the words of the year in 2018.
Officials were struggling to keep visitor numbers down at sights like Machu Picchu and the Taj Mahal in a bid to protect the fragile buildings. Locals in Venice, Barcelona and Dubrovnik decried the fact that their cities had become impossible to navigate and ruinously expensive to live in.
Although the fall in numbers has impacted businesses, the end of overtourism, has given destinations a chance to take stock and reassess.
When Venice briefly reopened over the summer of 2020, fish swimming in crystal clear canals and a peaceful atmosphere were just some of the benefits felt.
Now tourism businesses in the Italian city are hoping a focus on local artisans, rather than just famous sights, will help set the tone in 2021.