‘Overtourism is killing Big Sur’: activists raise banner in California vacation spot | US news | The Guardian

Tourism based economies: first to crash in bad economy, last to recover….costs:

Tourism=death of local servicing business

Loss of Mom and Pop stores to tourism based business

Low wage industries, need 2 and 3 jobs to stay financially afloat

Hollowing out of neighborhoods

Communities fragmented by event centers, tasting rooms, vacation rentals in all zoning

Housing becomes an investment instead of a home

Unaffordable, high rents and lack of housing

Children and grandchildren move for lack of affordable housing

Safety: more rural roads used through neighborhoods used due to traffic congestion on regular routes

Roads and infrastructure crumbling, taxpayers pick up the tab

Paralyzing traffic and carbon pollution throughout county

‘Overtourism is killing Big Sur’: activists raise banner in California vacation spot | US news | The Guardian

The sign was placed over Bixby Bridge, which has been featured in Big Little Lies, an HBO show set in Monterey county

A group called Take Back Big Sur hung the banner, which was taken down after several hours.
A group called Take Back Big Sur hung the banner, which was taken down after several hours. Photograph: KSBW

Residents of California’s Big Sur are showing signs – specifically a large, yellow sign – that they are fed up with tourists.

Over the weekend, a banner declaring “Overtourism is killing Big Sur” was hung from Bixby Bridge, dominating any would-be Instagram-perfect photos of the scene.

The California Department of Transportation was made aware of the banner Saturday morning, said spokesman Jim Shivers. The local sheriff’s department removed the sign within hours. The group behind the sign calls itself “Take Back Big Sur” and is comprised of about two dozen locals, according to SFGate. A permit is needed to put up signs, Shivers said.

“Our responsibility every day is to ensure the safety of the traveling public,” he said. “We want to make sure that we don’t have unregulated or unapproved signage or banners within the right of way which could prove to be a distraction to the public.”

Tourism injected $2.85bn into the economy of Monterey county, on California’s central coast, in 2017, up 3.5% from the previous year. Tourists began to overwhelm Big Sur starting in 2005, Butch Kromland, of the Community Association of Big Sur, told local news station KSBW.

“The barrier between appropriate and inappropriate behavior, that barrier has melted away in a lot of ways and I think that is a result of normalizing things in way via social media,” Kromland said.

The popularity of Bixby Bridge in particular has grown after its frequent appearances in Big Little Lies, an HBO show set in the county.

A video published on 4 July showed the heavy traffic traversing the bridge ahead of the weekend. In May, an Instagram account called Big Sur Hates you began shaming visitors for inappropriate or damaging behavior, by reposting their photos with critical comments.

Ironically, it is Instagram itself that has helped drive visits to natural wonders like the central coast.

The Instagram account Public Lands Hate You was created in 2018 to call attention to bad behavior in public parks, sharing photos with its more than 57,000 followers. It encourages visitors to avoid destructive actions like feeding wildlife, trampling on local flowers and setting off fireworks.

A petition was created on Change.org to force Facebook and Instagram to create features to allow users to report irresponsible behavior at nature sites. It now has more than 19,000 signatures.

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Locals have had it with visitor hordes

Updated

From the Archives:

Big Wine & Binge Tourism Cost you:

Groundwater depletion

Winegrapes were not irrigated before 1970

Drinking water quality polluted with chemical runoff

Lack of diversity & monoculture-ask the Irish

Deforestation for the land rush-say NO to coastal pinot

Wildlife corridors fenced off, habitat diminished for animals.

Wineries have more rights than we do-look at Supervisor approvals

Millions of pounds of chemicals in vineyards yearly

-Sonoma, 2,211,222 (MILLION) pounds in 2014 (cdpr.ca.gov)

-Napa: 1,372,525 (MILLION ) pounds in 2014 (cdpr.ca.gov)

Cancer rates for kids highest in state for Napa, Sonoma #3 (see website: www.kidsdata.org)

Chemical pollution in air, soil and water

Tourism=death of local servicing business

Loss of Mom and Pop stores to tourism based business

Low wage industries, need 2 and 3 jobs to stay financially afloat

Hollowing out of neighborhoods

Communities fragmented by event centers, tasting rooms, vacation rentals in all zoning

Housing becomes an investment instead of a home

Unaffordable, high rents and lack of housing

Children and grandchildren move for lack of affordable housing

Safety: more rural roads used through neighborhoods used due to traffic congestion on regular routes

Roads and infrastructure crumbling, taxpayers pick up the tab

High rate of police calls from tourists, taxpayers pick up the tab

Paralyzing traffic and carbon pollution throughout county

Vineyard workers housing and health risks from chemical exposure

8 to 10,000 acres paved over for industrial ag production in So CO.

Wineries get Williamson Act tax breaks for not paving over ag lands and creating industrial business model in ag zones, process continues

General Plan 2020 predicted half the wineries we have now with over 70 new permits in the pipeline for rural Sonoma County

 

 

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