The world is shrinking… or at least that’s how it feels. Of the 195 countries across the globe, the top 20 account for almost two-thirds of tourist visits. Put simply, ‘overtourism’ means too many of us in too few destinations. The result? We are destroying the very places we love the most: enraging locals, damaging historical monuments and fighting for photo opps. Which is where Undertourism comes in.

It's time for a fundamental rethink of where we travel - and why. It's time to trade in Instagram hotspots for offbeat havens and rediscover our curiosity for travel beyond the guidebook or the Facebook feed. It's the idea of striking out and discovering destinations away from the tourist trail, booking trips to offbeat destinations crammed full of curiosities and spreading our tourist spending beyond the heaving hotspots. It's about seeking out alternative and authentic experiences, living like a local in places barely touched by tourism (and where the locals actually welcome you), and trading crowds and queues for a good old-fashioned adventure into the unknown.

Overtourism is an issue that has spread worldwide from Mount Everest (remember that profoundly depressing photo of the queue of climbers waiting to summit?) to the wilds of the USA's national parks. In cities, we are battling tooth and nail for a front-row view of the iconic sites. In Rome, people are feuding over the best selfie spot at the Trevi Fountain; in Venice, the Piazza San Marco has been transformed into a mad moody mob; and in Paris, the Louvre saw a brief closure after employees walked out over the overwhelming crowds.

And it's not just the cities; nature too is straining under this human stampede. In Yellowstone National Park, cars wait for hours to enter; while in Thailand, remote Maya Bay - the location for the Leonardo DiCaprio film The Beach - has had to close after daytrippers destroyed the coral and left mountains of rubbish. As Stephen Bleach from The Times argues, 'through sheer weight of numbers, humans are contriving to turn remarkable and beautiful places into a dreary, soul-sapping and self-defeating experience. We're despoiling treasure after treasure, and we're not even having a good time in the process.' Travelling, it seems, has become less about the journey, the adventure, the dream of discovering new places, and more about obsessively slashing off items from our bucket lists and taking photo after photo to prove that we've been there, done that and bought the Bangladeshi sweatshop-made T-shirt.

Our team of travel specialists are passionate about their destinations, and this includes travelling to them responsibly. We can help you see the lesser-visited (but no less amazing) destination, or, if you really want to see that famous site (who can blame you, they're popular for a reason), then we can help you beat the crowds, whether it's an after-hours tour or an alternative route and view.

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