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.
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.
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.”
To promote higher quality tourism on the island, The Governor of Bali is:
- Urging local people to report any tourists misbehaving on the island.
- Introducing steps that will ultimately lead to a ban on tourists driving on the island (both cars and motorcycles/mopeds)
- Proposing the introduction of a tourist tax
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.
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.”
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com