Addressing overtourism with a Lidar-powered guidance solution

Addressing overtourism with a Lidar-powered guidance solution

The issue of 'overtourism' extends beyond popular destinations like Venice or Barcelona. Coastal areas in Germany are also struggling with an influx of tourists. To address this, Die Nordsee GmbH, a marketing organization, is using Blickfeld Lidar sensors to manage visitor traffic along the North Sea coast.

Germany's North Sea and Baltic Sea beaches are highly popular among tourists, and visitor numbers surged during the pandemic when international travel was uncertain. However, the resulting overcrowding in 2020 and 2021 was difficult to manage, causing negative impacts for the environment, locals and visitors alike.

Die Nordsee GmbH has partnered with the tourist agency of the Wangerland municipality to develop a visitor guidance system that monitors visitor volumes and suggests alternative destinations during peak occupancy. The aim is to balance tourist hotspots and promote lesser-known leisure facilities in the area.

The advances of Lidar technology

To meet the project's requirements of real-time data collection, weather resistance and a wide field of view, EvoCount, a people-counting specialist, won the tender and provided Lidar technology. Lidar outperforms other alternatives like cameras in terms of data protection, weather resistance and night-time use. Importantly, Lidar technology captures only 3D data and doesn't store any personal information, ensuring data privacy.

Nearly 60 Lidar sensors have been installed at eight different locations, counting people and vehicles. The continuous live stream of 3D data captured by the sensors is processed by perception software, which detects objects and counts them. The resulting data is analysed and used by Die Nordsee GmbH for further action.

Digital signs and websites at various locations provide occupancy information and excursion suggestions to aid trip planning. Die Nordsee GmbH's website and individual destination websites display occupancy rates. The availability of this information has led to increased website usage and a spread of tourists to more locations.

Using Lidar technology is crucial for digitalization efforts in preventing overcrowding, protecting the environment and locals, and ensuring an enjoyable experience for tourists in German destinations. For more information on this topic, see here.

Observing beachgoers departing: point cloud with pedestrian counting zone.
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