Has overcrowding and agressive for-tourists advertising become standard?

this is a topic that came up with a few friends. We were all avid travellers (mostly in Europe) before the pandemic, and have started travelling again after - and have all noticed that every place we get to seems to be massively overcrowded now, and usually filled with people hawking tours, souvenirs, and whatever else tourists might give them money for.

I mean, I obviously understand that common holiday destinations were full of tourists before. You cannot go to Rome and expect to have a quiet sightseeing tour without anyone stepping into your photographs, for example. But it seems to me (and my friends) that things have shot up to the extreme in the past few years.

Some places are so full you can barely walk instead of shuffling along while elbow-to-elbow with others. Mile-long lines to get into things, 80% of restaurants, cafes, etc. marketing towards the tourist crowd with either 'modern' or simplified dishes, and street vendors or tourguides becoming extremely agressive in their selling because of competition.

It all rather feels like these holiday destinations have turned into theme parks instead of towns or at least parts of the city centres.

Edit to add: I see the irony in me, a tourist, complaining about other tourists. As I said, I don't expect places to be devoid of tourism, or to have the most 'authentic local' experience. But I do wonder about the sudden and immense increase of it all

Author: HoneyCakePonye