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G20 ministers to address issues involving 'overtourism'

Tourism ministers from the Group of 20 major economies have agreed to step up efforts to address friction between visitors and locals and the destruction of nature through a surge in tourists in what is called "overtourism."
In a declaration issued Saturday after a two-day meeting in Kutchan, Hokkaido, the ministers agreed to "work toward managing tourism for the benefit of visitors and local communities."
While welcoming tourism as a vehicle for economic growth and job creation, the declaration said the growth of tourism "creates important challenges" such as the preservation of natural resources, congestion management and the relationship with host communities.
Speaking at a news conference, Japan's tourism minister Kazuyoshi Akaba, who presided over the meeting, said, "We must study measures to address friction between tourists and locals, as well as to protect the environment."
World cities such as Amsterdam in the Netherlands and Venice in Italy have suffered from issues related to overcrowding from an excess of tourists.
In Japan, issues like traffic congestion and garbage dumping are seen in tourist areas such as Mt. Fuji, Kyoto and Kamakura in Kanagawa Prefecture.
The G20 groups Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Britain, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the United States and the European Union.


© KYODO
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