Under-Tourism: Is it a good fit for you?


Have you heard of dark sky parks or quiet parks? Dark sky parks are areas that are completely devoid of air pollution. This allows the visitors to get a crystal clear view of the sky. Dark sky parks are the perfect travel destination for star gazers whereas quiet parks have a slightly different appeal. These are places that have absolutely no sound pollution. 

Air and noise pollution are always around us, sometimes we forget how nice it is to escape. This desperate need to get away from the chaos of big cities has finally peaked. This is what led to the establishment of multiple dark sky parks all over the US. The author of “One Square Inch of Silence,” Gordon Hempton, has been desperately trying to establish the concept of quiet parks as well. 

Gordon Hempton realised there were several problems that lie along the way. First, there is no way to ensure that a quiet park remains quiet. He started his experiment in Washington state’s Olympic Peninsula with the mossy Hoh Rain Forest. Even though this “one square inch” of hidden world was indeed silent for a while, soon enough the US navy started training in the vicinity. Quite justifiably, with the rumble of the flights this park could no longer be labeled as “quiet.” And of course, there was nothing Gordon Hempton could do on an individual level to stop this from happening.

This is exactly what compelled him to start this mass movement in a demand for silence. He highlighted the need for some peace and quiet that was common to a lot of visitors. 

However, this still leaves a second and more complicated problem that stands in the path of “quiet” tourism. This article will explain exactly what this is and will also attempt to solve the problem. 

The Problem of “Quiet” Tourism and How to Solve It:

The greatest contradiction of “quiet” tourism is that you cannot encourage tourism to an unknown spot while still expecting it to remain unknown in the long run. The selling factor itself gets defeated if you actually manage to make the sell. 

This is exactly what happened to Machu Picchu in Peru. The moment it started being celebrated as an unconventional location, people started flocking to it in multitudes. Experts were actually worried that overtourism would harm the core essence of Machu Picchu.

The act of hyping up a quiet and unconventional destination for those very qualities is called “undertourism.” On the offset, practicing undertourism sounds like a great idea.This is basically what an undertourism pitch sounds like:

“Come here to escape the crowd. Discover a hidden world. You’re guaranteed to be the first among your friends to visit this unexplored paradise.”

How can you perfect the art of under-tourism?

Hanging Lake, near Glenwood Springs, Colorado, used to get more than 1500 hikers per day. Soon enough, the United States Forest Service realized that the pristine waters of the hanging lake would not remain pristine for long if they kept getting this footfall. This is why they started charging $12 from the hikers and also limited the maximum number of hikers to 600 per day. 

There are multiple other such locations in the United States with such restrictions to limit footfall. As a hotelier with a property near such restricted locations, you might be tempted to lament at the loss of guests. But you can actually gain something from these restrictions. 

If there’s a visitor limit, the guests will need to know when they’ll get an open slot. Your hotel can sweep in to the rescue in such a situation by keeping them informed about when they’ll be allowed to visit the location. In some situations your hotel can also arrange for these visits on behalf of the guests. 

“Sedona’s Secret 7” makes visitors aware of 7 unexplored trails in Sedona, Arizona. This is a clever strategy to disperse the crowd instead of concentrating them in one place. You can do the same with your hotel. You need to create different travel plans that unitewill lead guests to different destinations. This way you can still keep your promise of offering unexplored trails without limiting the number of guests lodged at your hotel. 

In Conclusion

You need to think of the long term benefits when it comes to under-tourism.  Focusing on the superficial aspects of it immediately transforms it into over-tourism. Doing under-tourism right can really be a game changer during this pandemic, since people are trying to escape the crowds.

Do you want more such strategies on how to make quiet tourism work for your property? Let us know in the comments below.

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