Daniel is a copywriter who has well and truly been bitten alive by the 'travel bug'. After ticking off several North American National Parks and exploring Europe by train, his sights are now set on South East Asia. Usually with at least one camera locked and loaded, you'll find Daniel wherever there are mountains, lakes or beaches.
With travel levels peaking back to their pre-pandemic levels, some places in the world are now actively trying to push away vacationers from stepping foot on their land.
From tourist taxes to noise restrictions to license plate scanning, here are 10 destinations that want you to stay away in 2023 and beyond!
A city known for its wild nights and carefree adult activities, Amsterdam is now trying to clean up its reputation. Earlier in 2023, the city put out a new ad campaign discouraging young people from traveling there if they’re interested in drinking, prostitution, and drugs. The city council has also approved a proposed ban on cruise ships disembarking passengers onto its streets. So, unless you’re interested in the city’s beautiful architecture or history, it’s time to find a new party capital!
Home to some of the world’s most breathtaking landscapes, from volcanoes to forests to white sand beaches, you would think visitors to Bali would be upstanding, respectful tourists. Sadly the Indonesian island instead seems to attract young 20-somethings looking for full-moon parties and booze cruises. To try and combat this, the Indonesian government will start implementing a tourist tax in mid-2024 to help tackle the damages its ecosystem has endured from unruly vacationers.
Like Bali, Venice has recently introduced a tourist tax of its own due to a severe case of ‘over-tourism.’ The historic but fragile city is struggling with its post-COVID level of visitors. The overcrowded streets take away from the beauty of the city, leaving most tourists warn out and feeling disappointed. Hopefully, the tax will help reduce those numbers and provide income to protect this magnificent city on water.
Barcelona offers it all, a historic but vibrant city, a huge beach, and food to die for. So it’s no wonder it has become the go-to city in Europe. This has come at a price, however, with residents growing tired and frustrated with their streets overflowing with travelers. In 2022, Barcelona introduced noise restrictions and tourist group sizes to try and appease the Catalan people.
Machu Picchu, Peru
Visitor numbers heading to Peru’s Machu Picchu have skyrocketed in the last few decades. With this comes untold damage to the environment and its people. To help manage these numbers, visitors can only enter the Inca citadel during two time slots and can stay no longer than four hours.
Even before the rise in over-tourism, the mountain kingdom of Bhutan has enforced steep fees to stay overnight. For three decades, any travelers wanting to rest their heads in the kingdom had to pay $65 per night. When Bhutan opened its borders after two years of COVID shutdown, they upped the ante and began charging $200 per night as a Sustainable Development Fee.
Santorini has a year-round population of around 15,000, but its visitor numbers are close to two million. A city built for that many people simply can’t handle the tourist footfall it receives. As with many vacation-based destinations, Santorini’s economy is heavily dependent on people stepping on its shores. In order to tackle this issue without stifling its economy, Santorini has begun to cap the number of daily cruise passengers allowed.
Arguably the capital of Southeast Asia‘s ‘backpackers trail’, Thailand is trying to distance itself from the party reputation it has unfortunately picked up. Boats have now been banned from Maya Bay, a popular beach spot, in order to let its natural beauty rebloom. Thailand doesn’t want all vacationers to steer clear, just those who arrive on its shores to drink and party in excess.
Amalfi Coast, Italy
Using one of the most inventive ways to ward off tourists, Italy’s Amalfi Coast introduced a new license plate system for visitors. Cars with license plates ending in an even number are allowed access to the region one day, while cars with odd numbers have access the following day. The area is still a highly popular destination, but time will tell whether this innovative concept will work.
Cornwall, United Kingdom
When the world was in various forms of lockdown, the British people flocked to the coastal county of Cornwall to get their fix of sun and sand. Before the pandemic, Cornwall attracted families and the elderly to its stunning beaches and cozy towns. Unfortunately, the COVID years caused an influx of vacationers who were far less conscious of their actions to visit the region. Since then, the oceanside area has been battling with the unsustainable levels of tourism that flocks there each summer.
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