Article by Michael M. Madsen. Press article for public use. Text and pictures may be reproduced without further permissions.
Everywhere travellers have become sick and tired of all the tourists at densely packed destinations and crowded sights. Now they are moving away from the tourists and out where the locals live – in order to experience the unique and the authentic where no tourists come.
Travellers experience crowds of people, traffic, noise and tourist-designs everywhere – and there are Chinese tourists who rush around in hordes making selfies. That takes the excitement away from even the most amazing attraction and destroys the holidays for lots of people, when they feel like cattle driven around – or when they are being pursued by keen tourist-vendors in Southern Europe who appeal to them in German or English.
Nowadays you have to book tickets for the big sights months in advance because of the immense demand. When you get there you first have to queue up and are then lead in big groups into a narrow path on half-hour intervals with specific instructions about where and when photographing is allowed. On the narrow path you will furthermore have to wait for the Chinese tourists to finish their selfies before moving on – and then being rushed by a guide or inspector to keep up with the group. People start feeling like cattle being driven into enclosures when treated like that.
Airports, big cities and coast towns are also completely crowded with tourists everywhere. Local vendors and street artists approach you in German or English, asking for money rather than actually offering something – or selling souvenirs made-in-china, but with the local name printed on it.
People love travelling and they love seeing the big sights, but more and more travellers opt out of the cattle-like treatment received on the major sights. And they opt out of being generalized as money-generating objects to be taken advantage of. People are now seeking away from the crowds, away from mass tourism and away from being treated like cattle.
There are several known way of getting off the beaten track, such as staying in caravans and staying with locals, but these options are not for everyone. Lots of travellers prefer the privacy and comfort of renting their own accommodation without having to book a hotel. Private apartments and houses are now also available in less-sought areas, in residential areas or in the country side, enabling unique, authentic experiences without joining the tourist masses and without being treated like cattle.
There is now a counter-reaction; a new trend of planning the holidays in order to avoid the crowded places and escape the tourist masses. It’s about getting out among the locals and finding the truly unique, authentic experiences in the villages and in nature. It is also about experiencing the at least as amazing attractions, which are less known and hidden further away from the traditional tourist destinations. There are almost unlimited possibilities, if only you plan for it.
None of the major tourism brands address this new trend, but there are many small agencies serving the authenticity-hungry travelers, particularly in Spain. e.g. Casitas, Spain-Rural and Finca Nature Rentals. They have experienced a significant increase in travelers seeking away from the crowded coastline and towards the pristine nature and untouched inland villages. The first brand to launch with authentic stays away from the tourist crowds is Autentical, starting with 7 destinations in Spain and soon to cover the rest of Southern Europe. Other players, both small agencies and big brands will join in to serve this upcoming trend over the coming years, making it an industry of its own and eventually drowning itself by leaving no place untouched.
For now there are lots of places to explore without doing it together with a crowd of tourists – and that is what ever more travelers do. Either by seeking inland to untouched places – or by finding the non-touristic places in the big cities. This could be in apartments or villas in residential areas where everyday citizens live – or by coming to fashionable neighbourhoods that have not been crowded by tourists yet. There are almost endless possibilities for authentic experiences away from the crowds for the conscious traveler to explore.