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4 Tourist Destinations That Want Low-Budget Travelers To Stay Away

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If you’re thinking of embarking on a backpacking adventure or simply traveling on a very low budget, then there are some locations you may instinctively shy away from.

Big cities such as New York, London, and Tokyo have a reputation as being too expensive for budget travelers, for example.

4 Tourist Destinations That Want Low Budget Travelers To Stay Away

But there are some locations that may be on the top of your bucket list that no longer want backpackers and budget travelers to visit.

Instead, they are focusing on attracting luxury tourism in a bid to stimulate their economies.

Here are four tourist destinations that want low-budget travelers to stay away:


While Bali has a reputation for being a budget travel destination and is incredibly popular with backpackers, the island has been making significant strides towards deterring low-budget travelers, particularly those traveling to the island because of its reputation for debauchery and excess.

A hindu temple in Bali Indonesia

The Indonesian government wants to move from attracting quantity to quality when it comes to visitors to Bali.

When the island reopened after the pandemic, Indonesian Maritime Coordinating Minister Luhut Panjaitan stated that “We don’t want backpackers coming to a clean Bali. We want quality visitors.”

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Jungle villa resort luxurious swimming pool Bali , Indonesia

To promote higher quality tourism on the island, The Governor of Bali is:

New Zealand

Following a long pandemic closure, New Zealand is now focusing on attracting tourists back to its shores.

Tourism contributes to a huge chunk of New Zealand’s economy, making up 9.3% of their GDP in direct and indirect contributions.

Piha Beach on the West Coast of New Zealand

While all types of tourists are welcome, New Zealand’s Tourism Minister Stuart Nash has stated that his country would focus on attracting big spenders.

“In terms of targeting our marketing spin, it is unashamedly going to be at…high-quality tourists…We are not going to target the people who put on Facebook how they can travel around our country on $10 a day eating two-minute noodles.”

A tourist with a backpack looking at a volcano in New Zealand

This isn’t the first time that Mr. Nash has publicly announced that he is focused on attracting the super-wealthy to New Zealand.

He stated in 2022 that New Zealand wanted the kind of tourist who “flies business class or premium economy, hires a helicopter, does a tour round Franz Josef and then eats at a high-end restaurant”.


The Canary Islands have long been popular with tourists thanks to their year-round tropical climate, and Lanzarote is the most visited of these islands.

Playa Dorada beach Lanzarote Canary Islands

Britons make up approximately 50% of the annual visitors to Lanzarote, but the President of the Island, Dolores Corujo, is hoping to reduce the island’s dependence on the British market, instead attracting “higher-quality visitors who spend more” in a bid to move “away from mass tourism.”

An overhead view of Papagayo Beach in Lanzarote, Spain

This has been proposed as a solution to overtourism on the island: fewer travelers spending more would, theoretically at least, reduce congestion for island residents during peak tourism periods.

The backlash to this statement has been significant, particularly from British tour companies that operate on the island.


Thailand has long been a mecca for the backpacking community and for travelers looking for affordable travel opportunities.

That isn’t about to change any time soon, but it’s important to note that the authorities in Thailand are promoting change and encouraging those in the tourism industry to target more lucrative travelers.

Chiang Mai Thailand Temples

At a tourism event in July 2022, the Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand, Aunitin Charnvirakul, stated that “we cannot let people come to Thailand and say because it’s cheap”.

He then went on to suggest that raising the reputation of Thailand as a premium travel destination would be a better route for the Thai economy.

woman with hat phuket thailand

This change has already started to be affected in real terms.

For example, to access a digital nomad visa in Thailand, you cannot have a backpacker budget. The Thai digital nomad visa is only open to those earning more than $80,000 a year, clearly demonstrating a desire to attract the wealthy to the country.

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Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.


Saturday 24th of June 2023

To actively discourage backpacking and low spending tourist means the destruction of your local businesses and if people that were that rich wanted to visit this places they would have already. All you're doing is destroying your local economy and you will have NO tourists.


Monday 5th of June 2023

These Tourism board reps sounds snobbish and idiotic. Those backpackers they despise so much are the ones eating at small, local restaurants and buying from local vendors. The wealthy one will just stay at massive chains and won't want to partake in street food.

I make good money but I wouldn't spend it flying business class. The should focus on the middle tier travelers. Those who don't have an abundance of time off like backpackers but also want to maximize their tourist dollars and time.

Don't think because you're catering to the rich, that they won't bring their entitlement and debauchery with them.

Mary Dobrowsky

Friday 23rd of June 2023

@Luu, Well stated. The middle tier are educated, accountable, and just in general (not all) better mannered with less entitlement. The low budget traveler is not creating debauchery ; it’s the entitled wealth y that can afford that. The middle tier generally work for a living which automatically makes you a better person


Sunday 4th of June 2023

Sooo basically they only want popular Instagrammers and the elite to travel to their countries. How about we go back to when no tourists were going to your countries, oh say, like 3 years ago. You'll be crying for those "cheaper" tourist's dollars. Morons.


Saturday 3rd of June 2023

Bali is spoiling it's beauty with all the construction, the paddies are disappearing and it's nearly impossible for tourists to walk the streets in many areas, Canggu is a good example.If tourists can't walk or ride motorbikes how will they be able to support all of the new shops and restaurants/warungs? Tourists come to Bali for the beauty and the surf, not just cheap eats or to be stuck in traffic for hours just to drive a short distance. Bali wants to attract quality tourists, but quality tourists will not come if this continues. They will go where there is still natural beauty and freedom to travel from place to place with ease.


Saturday 3rd of June 2023

Why is it such a bad thing to go to a place because it's affordable, or "cheap". Thai guy sounds like an idiot.