'The Beach' depicted the corruption of a little-known Thai paradise, but it also led to the real-life destruction of the beach where it was filmed. It premiered 20 years ago and locals are only just now starting to feel the film's effects fade. https://t.co/lAZ3mkIZMM— VICE (@VICE) February 11, 2020
The 2000 film semmed like another cliché about Westerners traveling to Southeast Asia on idealized notions of adventure, but the message of it is getting new resonance on today's new influencer culture.
Local environmental effects that corrupt small towns, destruction of beaches as content-hunters and "digital nomads" keep looking for more incredible and adventurous destinations to showcase their photos through our feeds, disregarding lives of locals and wreaking havoc on those locations for the sake of aspirational stories.
For example The Beach's own beach, Maya Bay has been subjected to modifications since the filming was taking place, and since the opening of the movie to this day, the beach has resented the effects of an increased touristic flow, as eroded sand, cut bushes and several other consequences have taken place, or the constant power boats that have killed reefs and fish and scared off local birds, not only on this spot but in several other Instagram-popular destinations.
Overtourims in many of these places predated social media, but in the age of travel vlogs, geotags and influencers, these stories are more common around all the world. Social media expedite the problem, promting huge amounts of interest in a destination in a very short ammount of time, these destinations are not prepared for the onslaught of travelers that are not usually respectful of the nature and the locals.
Publications like Condé Nast have questioned wheter the geotag feature on Instagram should be eliminated in order to preserve these places, if only for a little longer, with even locals now pleading tourists to not geotag locations. Making everybody more aware of the potential consequences of posting these data to social media.