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The influence of social networks in territorial planning

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Author: Pablo Cristobo García

Nowadays, social networks are another addition to our society, it was using almost daily, for news, to take a look some profiles of friends, family and even celebrities, knowing what they do and where they are at all times referring to the term called “stalkear”. Likewise, ideas for travel, restaurants, leisure, sports, in fact above all for tourism.

Instagram is like a tourism marketing, this one social network is a clearly website for the sale of items, holiday spots, trending clothes videos…. The most important cause it´s the sense of “I want that” or “I want to be there” makes the incredible mass movement of people. Moreover, Instagram indicates the place through G.P.S. It is easier to know where this tourist attraction is located.

Tripadvisor is another social network, where people give our opinion and share moments from hotels, to places of interest such as beaches, making it easier to know where to go in case of organizing a trip. More of the same happens with social networks like Facebook, Google Reviews, Minube … etc.

Nevertheless it´s has both advantages and disadvantages, as places where virtually no one would go. Nowadays it´s crowded with tourist like “Sunday Drivers”, then the territorial planning of the area keep in mind the effect of trend, for example the “fashion” or “boom” or this period. The “influencers-instagramers” that are called, they are the cause of such trend, other effect of influencers are their pics of instagram, then the people want the most beautiful like the influencers. Below are several examples, national, international and even personal. Finally, we have all turned to search sites online we have based on photographs of other people.

The most impressive case was that of this summer on a sunflower farm in the town of Bogle (Ontario, Canada). That´s how it all began when the plantation began to bloom, offering spectacular photos for these instagramers, who added the location to the social network, therefore this cause attracting thousands of people. Farmers knowing the photographic profitability of their farm decided to charge for the parking and the entrance, in fact they hired themselves extra people just to control their plantations and the car parking but when it´s spreading the word all the world wanted the “perfect” picture causing go out the control, because already gathering from ten in the morning to 7000 people who have parked with long queues of several kilometers, the possible great influence is due to the proximity of Toronto (with more than 2 million people), That said thousands of people have leaked without paying to fill the area full of garbage and destroying the place without taking into account the consequences, could have been avoided, planning a schedule, parking, fencing and maintenance staff and security, but fashion couldn´t foresight quickly, one of the most problem it´s the the planning processes that they are during days both even years.

Soles para instagram | Noticias Diario de Burgos

Pic 1: Fever of sunflowers, Source: S-Moda –El Pa

Not only social networks are the cause of these tourist mistmatch, the beach Maya Bay where Leonardo DiCaprio appears in a film, eighteen years later Tailanda has had to close the bay, due to ecological problems arising from tourism massive, that could have been avoided in a very simple way, restriction of boats and daily people to the site will not be reopened until a recovery of the reef that after thousands of years has been destroyed.

In the national case, it has had more advantages than disadvantages, however a disadvantage as widespread increase of tourism, in addition to complain “haters” for the improper use of facilities, is the case of the Neolithic fortified settlement of Santa Trega in A Guarda, which became a picnic, due to the festival of Do Monte, because the parking cost one euro, but was overcrowded and due to improper surveillance and planning caused a cultural and tourist complex to be filled with garbage and luckily undamaged.

But not everything is black and white, there is a hodgepodge of grays, is the case of villages, reservoirs, monuments … that formerly only came to know the native people, there was only word of mouth and little else, has led to social networks : Where is that ?, and it is due to the geolocation of Instagram or other social networks, is the case of Brihuega and its lavender fields, personally unknown to me previously (I have spoken with people from the area who did not know them either). Today I have seen thousands of photos on social networks, or as in the case of the Pink Lagoon de Torrevieja, a natural place that nowadays frequented by tourists, which fortunately we are still in good planning time to avoid the event of the field of sunflowers, another case is the Bunkers of Carmel (Barcelona), a place previously frequented by people with drug tendencies and their sale, nowadays full of tourists who are full of posters “Turists Go Home”, and is that it is an ideal site for the instragramers and above all the most important, it is free and in Barcelona.

Los vecinos del Carmel claman contra la pasividad de Colau por las fiestas  en los bunkers - El triangle

Pic 2: Bunkers of Carmel. Barcelona. Source: Own making

The solution, as has been well commented, is the observation of the behavior of tourist sites, social networks (which include important Big Data), and as a solution planning for tourist attraction, ecological restrictions, influx of people, design of transport to the area, geolocation … etc. Likewise, the different types of administrations such as the City Council and Governments, which in many cases are the inhabitants themselves, will also have to come into play.

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