In a remarkable irony, Porto, Portugal, often cited as an 'undiscovered destination' for those who want to avoid the 'over-tourism' of Lisbon or Barcelona now finds itself wondering if it's losing its soul.
After years of successfully cultivating tourist growth, a German magazine, and numbers of locals think the trend may have gone too far. Der Spiegel cites Ryanair and Easyjet for bringing swarms of visitors, and for making local sites, including the famous Lello bookshop into something "more like a museum or a theatre backdrop than a real place.”
The rise in numbers can easily be seen in the city's tourism tax collections. The tax, instituted 18 months ago, collects €2 per night per visitor for 7 days. Last year, €750,000; so far this year, the city has taken in €2.2 million.
Photo: Dom Luis I bridge at Porto