Travel Destinations To Avoid This Year
Tourism has been the biggest thing in the past years and more countries are seeing a boost in their revenues because of tourist spending. In fact, many countries like Japan have been working to attract more people to visit their country and have been more lax in granting tourist visas to encourage the touring population.
But not all countries and citizens are pleased with the travel wave. There have been many tourism backlash in the past months as locals cry out against the sheer number of tourists flooding the streets and disrupting their fragile ecosystems.
CNN notes some of these destinations you might want to stay away from this year if you want to avoid the hassle, the steep fees, or the hostile locals—and where you could visit instead.
Isle of Skye, Scotland
Thanks to the beauty of Scotland crawling our social media feeds (and the roaring popularity of TV series Outlander), the island has seen a dramatic increase in its tourist numbers. Tourists are flocking the remote fairy pools at Glenbrittle, the iconic sunset spot at Elgol, and the rocky Old Man of Storr, among other Scottish destinations in the area, contributing to the human density and disrupting local everyday activity. According to locals, they are finding the normal routes to work blocked and a drastic shortage of toilet facilities in their island.
The negative effects of mass tourism in the island have even pushed local police to take efforts to keep tourists from inflicting further negative infrastructural and enviornmental impacts on the Isle of Skye.
If you're planning to visit, ecotourism guide Green Global Travel suggests to explore the less mainstream spots in Scotland.
“Word on Skye’s stellar beauty has spread, making it one of Scotland’s most over-popular holiday destinations. While this brings invaluable income to local businesses, it’s proven problematic in terms of infrastructure and environmental impact. Responsible tourism to Skye is still possible. Allow yourself to go off the beaten path and support local businesses who give back to the community and act for the environment. Treat the island as if it was your home,” the report read.
Visit instead: Small isles of Rum, Muck and Eigg, and Jura to the south
Fans of hit series Game of Thrones have really driven tourism in Dubrovnik to astounding levels that the government put a cap on the number of tourists to the World Heritage site last year, for fear that the city’s oldest buildings will be damaged. After an initial cap of 8,000 visitors, the new mayor wants the cap to be at 4,000 tourists per day by 2018. This is mainly to protect the 15th century ramparts from collapsing under the heavy flow of tourists attracted to witness the live location of King’s Landing.
Included in the new restrictions in the city is the cutting down of the number of cruise ships entering the ancient port. According to CNN, nearly 800,000 people came from cruise liners and only stayed in the port for three hours or so. This puts the cost of disembarkation too much for too little economic activity.
Visit instead: Nearby Cavtat also offers a beautiful old era feel and stunning beaches that are not full of people
Cinque Terre, Italy
The five small fishing villages of Cinque Terre have seen an incredible spike in tourism in the recent years, at as much as 2.5 million visitors in 2015. Because of this, authorities wanted to cap the tourists coming to the Liguria region to 1.5 million to lower the harmful impact of coach parties and cruise ships bringing in tourists to the rugged coastal area.
The authorities managing the Cinque Terre National Park have been particularly concerned about the effects of mass tourism in the the five towns of Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza, and Monterosso. According to the park’s director, Patrizio Scarpellini, the absurd number of tourists are changing the rural and laid-back nature of the towns. There are only 4,000 residents in the area and only 3,000 beds are made available for tourists, in contrast to the millions of visitors crawling the towns per year.
Mass tourism has also started to impact the delicate ecosystem of the towns, where man-made hillside structures stay put only when properly maintained.
Because of this, the National park wants to collaborate with area towns to control and redirect tour groups, to manage the flow of tourists in the area.
Visit instead: Check out the beautiful town of Portovenere, dubbed as “the bay of poets.”