Recently a new word makes the rounds amongst backpackers, holiday goers, and people living in touristic hotspots: over-tourism. it usually means a place infested by visitors. When the touristic success of a spot becomes great to the point where locals feel exhausted by the streams of the masses. Mostar could be close to this point.
Everyone appreciates a pretty place, and amongst travelers, new hotspots quickly make the round. Not only since the movie the beach is this phenomenon know to a wider public. And ironically, the real beach, the place at which the movie plays out, needed to be closed off to the public in order to protect it from destruction. Case in point.
When I was at the beach of the movie with the same name some 17 years ago that was not a problem yet. In fact, there were plenty of people of course, but nothing in comparison to what I have seen on pictures taken last year. And then again, we all who have been there have added to the myths, motivating even more people to go. As we all know: If you are not part of the solution you are part of the precipitation.
What to do? I have no answers, only questions. Plus, I post pictures here that were carefully selected to give the best impression. Who spots the irony!?
Questionable approach, and not only, because you cannot get a decent photo of a place overrun by folks. BTW, I have found an app that removes unwanted people from photos. The solution? There are other issues though. The risk of destruction of a pristine environment, in some cases enrichment of a few locals seizing their share of the cake, causing social inequality, jealousy, and unrest in their societies, and so forth. Often landscapes are changed forever, and previously beautiful spots become uninteresting, causing the crowds to search forever new places that then can fall victim to over-tourism. A vicious cycle.
So, what is up with Mostar then? Yes, also here over-tourism will be an issue, or it is already. No doubt. The waterfalls close to Kravica and is well visited, but a suboptimal public transport system keeps the numbers at bay still. The town itself though presents the typical queues of people slowly meandering through the narrow medieval alleys. The disrespect some express towards the locals becomes mutual. On one side tourists are trespassing private property, ever searching for the perfect photo-op. On the other side locals who are on the search for quick gain, knowing that most tourists will never return…
The lack of friendliness may be explained that way. The pushiness of some to sell overpriced tours too. If you were able to remove all that from the experience the impression of a cute town would remain. Including a picturesque bridge, destroyed during the Serbian siege of the town, which was re-erected after the war as a symbol of perseverance. But some things cannot be subtracted. Or maybe only partially. Maybe someone needs to invent another app for it?