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Fodor’s, a popular travel guide publisher and website, has brought back its “No List” for travel destinations after a three-year hiatus, and the list contains destinations you would never expect.
Fodor’s explains that the ‘No List’ is not intended as a critique of the destination but as an opportunity to reflect on the impact that tourism has on this place and the need to give it a moment to catch up. This year’s No List reflects destinations you don’t have to delete from your bucket list, but consider if they can wait.
The list of 10 destinations has been divided by Fodor’s into three categories, each with its reasoning for why it made the list. Categories include natural attractions that need time to rejuvenate, cultural hotspots that lack the resources to sustain crowds, and destinations that are experiencing a water crisis.
Natural attractions that need time to heal
Coastline and Calanques National Park
France is experiencing intense coastal erosion due to the influx of tourists to these areas and the creation of frequent landslides. Étretat in Normandy had to close its sewage treatment plant last year because it could not handle the level of visitors, which was three times higher than its resident population.
In Marseille, the Calanques National Park decided to cap its visitors at 400 and set up a reservation system because they did not have the necessary equipment to serve the crowds.
Lake Tahoe, California
Lake Tahoe has always been a popular attraction, but following the pandemic, it fell victim to the Great Migration. Many people have moved to the area and decided to take their vacation home as their permanent residence. This caused increased traffic along the lake and made the trails and beaches even busier.
The biggest concern is pollution damage to the lake from dust and exhaust emissions, which are altering its iconic cobalt blue color. The city seeks to minimize cars on the road, so if you decide to go there, consider renting a bike or using the free shuttle program.
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You wouldn’t think that Antarctica is teeming with many tourists. Tourist numbers are capped by various treaties, but this also means they are confined to a single area of the peninsula. With Antarctica being one of the most vulnerable places to climate change, this small tourism footprint has impacted an area that is already under threat.
The peninsula has recorded some of the fastest warming temperatures and greatest wildlife decline in history. Combine that with the black carbon emitted by ships and planes to get there, which makes the snow melt faster and darker. Fodor’s recommends that if you decide to go, choose an operator who is aware of their environmental impact and find ways to limit your footprint.
Cultural destinations flooded with tourists
Venice’s canal network of 150 canals is the city’s greatest charm and one of the reasons tourists come to this floating, romantic city. As the city is surrounded by water, it is vulnerable to flooding, especially as sea levels rise due to climate change. Measures are being put in place to reserve the lagoon ecosystem, such as prohibiting large cruise ships from entering the historic center, and it will soon introduce an entrance fee to discourage mass tourism for day trips. daytime.
The Amalfi Coast is also no stranger to crowds. The city recently introduced a license plate system during its peak season to reduce traffic congestion. People with odd or even plates can only drive on certain days, which limits cars on the roads. The lawyers demand that he return next year.
Cornish beaches are one of this English county’s top attractions, but Cornish tourism authorities began raising red flags for its over-tourism four years ago when they decided to stop promoting its coastline in brochures and online campaigns. He even went so far as to ask visitors to stay away from the beaches.
Besides crowded beaches, residents say the area lacks the infrastructure to handle the level of crowds, with narrow roads, limited parking and excess pollution and litter. Accommodation companies are even capping the number of rentals to keep the cost of living down since short-term rentals drive prices up.
When the number of tourists in Amsterdam equals the same number as residents across the country, a strategy is needed to ensure that the crowds are not so isolated in one area. This is why the Holland Tourism Board readjusted its marketing campaign and focused on promoting different areas and segmenting tourists at different times.
Small steps have been taken to reduce crowds and disorderly behavior, such as moving popular photo ops, banning beer bikes and capping the number of people arriving at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport.
Thailand has attracted large numbers of visitors, with nearly 40 million tourists arriving each year before the pandemic hit its natural sights. The Tourism Board hopes to focus less on visitor numbers and more on upscale travellers, and has added measures to protect its resources, such as closing national parks for one month a year to recuperate.
The popular Phi Phi Leh cove in Maya Bay has seen regular closures in recent years due to ecological damage caused by hordes of tourists, while the island of Koh Tao recently implemented a tax. tourist use, which goes to conservation.
Destinations suffering from water crises
The islands do not always have efficient access to water, which is why Maui County had to introduce mandatory water restrictions for residents for non-essential water use. These restrictions have not been enforced at resorts in south and central Maui, which have multiple pools, manicured lawns and golf courses.
This uneven distribution of water between locals and tourist sites has spawned conflict and resentment, especially as the cost of living is driven up by increased short-term rentals. It also causes more homelessness, which is why some locals have called on tourists to stop visiting.
Southern European watershed
The European watershed crosses Europe from the Iberian Peninsula (divided by Spain and Portugal) to Russia and is important for the dispersion of water in these areas. Since the northern hemisphere has experienced one of the worst droughts this year, it has dried up rivers and helped create dry conditions that have affected 65% of Europe.
The Rhine and Danube suffered from low water levels affecting river cruises, where passengers complained about updated routes and having to take buses between some ports. In other regions, water reservoirs in Spain only have a capacity of 11%; the northern provinces of Italy do not have enough water to produce food; and the Greek islands are trying to balance the water demands of agriculture and tourism, as they depend on water imports.
The American West
Lake Mead, on the Arizona-Nevada border, is under severe pressure, with drought severely affecting its water levels. Arizona and Nevada will implement water restrictions next year since the water level is expected to be below 1,050 feet above sea level next year (a level 2 shortage level) . If Lake Mead drops below 895 feet, the situation becomes even more serious, and it will impact hydroelectricity generation from the Hoover Dam, which serves residents of California, Arizona and Nevada.
Lake Powell in Utah and Arizona are also facing depleted water levels. Tourists visiting Zion National Park in Utah use twice as much water as an average Las Vegas resident. As the water dries up, desert ecosystems and low-income families are the most affected.
How can I be more aware of my impact when I travel?
When choosing which country and which tourism provider, make sure it is backed by a recognized certification standard. The Global Tourism Council has a list of certification standards that range from tourism-funded agencies to private tour operators and non-profit organizations, while the World Resources Institute’s Aqueduct tool will help you determine some worst-hit areas by this moment.
The key is to do your research and invest a few extra minutes when planning your trip into companies that use sustainable tourism and practices. It is recommended to visit lesser-known destinations in high season, and if you are going to busy places, try to visit when there is no peak and be aware of your own footprint when it comes to using water and the trampling of fragile ecosystems.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com