007 – Samantha Shankman – Maybe Too Many Tourists

Overtourism in Barcelona and globally…

Samantha Shankman, travel reporter, producer currently working on a documentary about overtourism in Barcelona (bio), joins Pavan Bahl and John Matson at the MouthMedia Network studio at Voyager HQ.

Skift and Time, Inc., post-Olympic Barcelona, and responsive infrastructure

Shankman talks about covering the business of travel, working on travel stories from the early days of Skift, joining Time Inc., working in the capacity of booking travel, now owning a bed and breakfast outside Barcelona, and how all of the experiences have allowed her to see travel from several angles, and on both business and consumer sides of travel. How a cold email got her a job as an early employee of Skift, how she decided to go into video production, and turned onto overtourism. Barcelona as an unknown city before the 1992 Olympics, its improved infrastructure, how Barcelona succeeded in building a brand as an artistic city with urban and beach experiences, great for dining, nightlife and art. The impact of urban planning being done so quickly and in response to a rise in tourism, how there is so much tourism in specific focused areas, and the issue of pickpocketing. And Shankman’s experience with the changing dynamics of moving from a startup to a big company to a freelancer.

High occupancy, illegal home-sharing, and combatting tourism

A discussion of tourism inventory in Barcelona, high occupancy despite recently built new hotels. The city’s move to prohibit building more new hotels, the strain on infrastructure and resources in the face of rising tourism. The rise of home-sharing while only small number of home-sharing services are legal, and how Barcelona’s mayor is “combatting” tourism. The locals are fed up with tourists, and working with places that give back to the city. Shankman talks about people in her film, how change will happen wherever we are, how there is never just one cause of rising prices and limited resources, and that tourists are not always the reason a place is expensive or unlivable, as there are too many factors.

An eco-friendly farm, authentic experiences, and straining resources

the downstream effects on food due to overtourism, how people who want to come volunteer at the farm Shankmna lives at in Barcelona, and the wide desire for that experience. What is being done to provide for influx of people, more of a travel trend of food sourcing for tourists, how the most authentic experiences in tourism is to spend time with people in the area. No place is just “that place” anymore. And living on an Airbnb farm. Always growing, testing limits, how an eco-friendly house brings clarity to the real meaning of eco-conscious, creating empathy, and how paths appear. And, Shankman will be joining “Travel Is Your Business” as a host in rotation.


Chrisina Grdovic [Episode 002]


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