Avoid traveling to these places if you want to help the planet

2022 has been a terrible year for the weather.

In Europe, severe heat waves killed more than 16,000 people, nearly 1,700 died in floods in Pakistan and Hurricane Ian in the United States claimed the lives of 109 people.

Catastrophic weather events caused nearly $37 billion in damage worldwide from January to September 2022, according to insurance broker Aon.

Many factors contribute to climate change, including travel, which is responsible for around 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions.

While tourism can boost local economies and, let’s face it, most of us enjoy going on vacation (especially post-Covid), there are some destinations you should reconsider.

Fodor’s travel guide has released its annual No List for 2023, which highlights “natural attractions that could use a break to heal and rejuvenate; cultural hotspots that are plagued by overcrowding and burnout resources; and places around the world immediately and dramatically affected by water crises.

Here’s a look at some of the places they suggest jumping next year.

Related: Climate Change Nearly Threatened The Plight Of This Thanksgiving Staple

Oh, the places not to go

French cliffs and coastline

The French coastline is eroding, thanks to an onslaught of tourists. Places like Étretat, Normandy, a scenic location that has attracted many Impressionist painters, have been particularly hard hit. Fodor reports that regular foot traffic along the white cliffs causes frequent landslides.

The situation has become so untenable that even government officials are asking tourists to stay away. “We need tourism, but we have to find a balance,” said Jean-Baptiste Renié, municipal councilor of Étretat. Many of them [the tourists] leaving angry after spending several hours in the car without being able to find a parking lot, a place to eat or a toilet because there is not enough infrastructure.

Lake Tahoe, California

During the pandemic, people flocked to this beautiful place nestled in the heart of the Sierra Nevada mountains. They didn’t leave. The result was a mass of humanity and traffic polluting the area and its pristine lake.

Community leaders and residents became so concerned that they created an organization called The League to Save Lake Tahoe with a mission to protect “the environmental health” of the Lake Tahoe basin.

According to their website, “Heavy traffic crushes Tahoe’s roads into fine dust and debris and pumps exhaust emissions into the air. When it rains or snow melts, stormwater carries these fine particles of pollution in the lake, obscuring its cobalt blue waters.”

Related: This solar-powered Florida town was built to withstand hurricanes. Did it work?

Venice, Italy

With its historic canals, ancient monuments and fine cuisine, Venice is one of the most popular destinations in the world. But therein lies the problem. The city in the water was not built for so many tourists.

Fodor’s reports a ratio of 370 visitors for every resident per year.

Venice was already prone to flooding and rising sea levels, and the millions of tourists who descend on the city each year exacerbate the problem. Local authorities have introduced laws to ward off the hordes, including banning cruise ships from the city center. And from next year, Venice will charge an entrance fee just to enter the city.

Cornwall, England

Cornwall is popular for its mild climate, spectacular beaches and unique culture. But like many old towns, the infrastructure cannot accommodate so many visitors.

“Narrow lanes passing for roads and limited parking at some of the county’s most popular sites combine to create traffic congestion, pollution and litter,” a resident told Fodor’s.

Thailand

Fodor’s blacklist didn’t target a specific part of Thailand – it warned people to stay away from the whole country. Why?

“Popular Maya Bay bucket list destination, Phi Phi Leh, made famous by the Danny Boyle directed film The beach with Leonardo di Caprio – had to close in 2018 due to severe ecological damage caused by the approximately 3,000 daily visitors and mooring boats,” says Fodor’s.

And it’s not better in the north. Chiang Mai, the tourist city in northern Thailand, ranks among the most polluted cities in the world.

Maui, Hawaii

Maui suffers from a severe water shortage due to record temperatures, lack of rain and tourists, who are gobbling up the majority of the island’s water supply.

The island has been in a “phase 1 water shortage” since June 30 due to dry conditions. West Maui, home of popular tourist destination Lahaina, is particularly arid.

“As the dry weather continues, reservoir levels and ditch flows will continue to drop, and it is likely that Upcountry water treatment facilities will not be able to meet demand,” said Helene Kau, director of the Department of Water Supply.

You can find Fodor’s full No List here.