Aug 19, 2019

Axios PM

By Mike Allen
Mike Allen

Good afternoon: Today's PM — edited by Justin Green — is 428 words, a 2 minute read.

1 big thing: 2019's tourist crunch

Anti-tourist graffiti in Barcelona. Photo: Pau Barrena/AFP/GettyImages

There are way more people traveling, but there's only one Paris.

Why it matters: The world's most popular tourist sites are increasingly overrun.

  • Some of Europe's most popular destinations have truly impressive tourist to local ratios, including Barcelona (19x), Amsterdam (18x), and Prague (6x), the BBC notes.
  • Ecologically sensitive sites like Cinque Terre and the Inca Trail are having to limit access for self-preservation.
  • Short-term rentals like Airbnb are a political flashpoint in cities facing housing crunches.
  • Locals suffer long waits and crowding on basic services like roads and mass transit.

The other side: Tourist cash is very real, and the economic infusions can make a major difference in local economies.

What's next: The solutions from these cities also sound quite a bit alike.

  • Expect to see more city-enforced quiet hours and Segway bans.
  • Don't get surprised by new rules on where tours (the guided ones, not random people) can go and when.
  • Cities like Prague and Amsterdam are also pushing tourists to explore quieter parts of the city.

The bottom line: "Managing a tourist destination is something like managing a natural resource," N.Y. Times columnist Farhad Manjoo wrote last year.

  • "A sustainable level of tourists brings widespread gains to the local economy, but too many ruin it for everyone. Cities that are looking to tame the number of tourists must manage a delicate balance — to gently discourage some forms of travel without appearing unwelcoming to others."
Bonus: Pic du jour
Photo: Gary Hershorn/Getty Images

A dog catches a frisbee in front of the skyline of lower Manhattan and One World Trade Center

2. What you missed
  1. President Trump tweeted that the Fed should cut interest rates by "at least 100 basis points, with perhaps some quantitative easing as well," in order to boost the U.S. and world economy. Go deeper.
  2. New York Police officer Daniel Pantaleo, who was faced with disciplinary charges over the death of Eric Garner 5 years ago, has been fired. Go deeper.
  3. AG Bill Barr has ordered the removal of acting Bureau of Prisons Director Hugh Hurwitz following the suicide of alleged sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein. Go deeper.
  4. Twitter will no longer accept advertising from "state-controlled news media entities" after finding that more than 900 accounts originating from inside China have been part of a coordinated effort to undermine political protests in Hong Kong. Go deeper.
  5. 4th-ranking House Democrat comes out in favor of impeachment inquiry. Go deeper.
3. 1 🏈 thing

Photo: Jeff Chiu/AP

For the first time, the Clemson Tigers football team are the preseason AP #1, pushing Alabama to a preseason #2 for the first time in 3 years.

Why it matters: Clemson football was usually good and sometimes excellent, but never this, the AP notes.

  1. Clemson
  2. Alabama
  3. Georgia
  4. Oklahoma
  5. Ohio State
  6. LSU
  7. Michigan
  8. Florida
  9. Notre Dame
  10. Texas

Go deeper: Full rankings.

Mike Allen