Unheard guests - The interplay between tourism and noise

environmental impacts of tourism and noise
© Shutterstock / petrmalinak
Tourism is an important economic factor that is based on the attractiveness of destinations. It is therefore crucial to minimize noise and other environmental impacts.
Tourism and noise
© Fraunhofer IBP
Sources of noise due to tourists and residents during leisure time and potential measures.

Demands regarding the quality and sustainability of tourism are currently on the rise almost everywhere. This also includes audible quality, as in many areas both locals and tourists long for tranquil places where they can relax or at least enjoy a pleasant acoustic environment. A range of conflict potentials can be identified along tourism value chains. Nevertheless, the economic importance of tourism should not be neglected. Based on a comprehensive review of literature, cases and problems, supplemented by expert panels in towns and regions of touristic interest in Baden-Wuerttemberg, the interplay between tourism and noise is being analyzed in order to find scientifically sound solutions to practical issues and also to stimulate the exchange of information among experts.

Project goals

To make tourism sustainable (and) attractive for the local people, their towns and regions and also travelers, it is essential to understand the sources of noise, demands, interaction and reactions among all stakeholders and affected parties, as well as potential noise reduction measures and their effectiveness. The project aims at systematically analyzing and processing knowledge about the interplay between tourism and noise based on a review of national and international literature.

 Complementary tandem interviews are held with the people responsible for tourism and noise control to compare the different perspectives. In this way, local challenges can also be understood and analyzed in order to overcome them in the future.

Current project status

The overall picture clearly shows that noise plays a differentiated but significant role in areas of touristic interest. This is made evident by the mention of recurring and specific noise problems by tourists and locals alike. However, who is most affected is not stated. While the number of studies in Germany is extremely small, diverse international studies can be used as case studies. Traffic and leisure noise are identified as the main sources of noise and possible constructional, structural and methodological measures are discussed. Some concepts work well, others fail to have the desired effect despite major efforts. However, due to the individual case characteristics, culture and geography, it is still difficult to determine general planning aids or solutions. First approaches include promoting awareness and the exchange of information among experts, the tourist industry and local citizens, as well as across regions and cities. Practical solutions, such as suitable and well-founded transport concepts, can be based on this.