Knowing where not to go can be just as insightful as knowing where to go. It may not be as common to search for the worst places, but travelers will benefit all the same.
For the record, this is not a hit piece. In fact, many travelers will still make their way to these destinations and may have the time of their lives.
To compile the “No List”, Fodor’s focused on 3 key factors:
- Trash production
- Water quality and sufficiency
Let’s dive into why these travel experts believe you should avoid these 9 destinations in 2024:
Destinations To Avoid Due To Overtourism
There’s simply no place quite like Venice (sorry Vegas!). Unfortunately, Venice has made headlines for a lot of the wrong reasons in recent years.
Like a bratty toddler at Christmas, Venice has now made the naughty list twice. In 2018, the one-of-a-kind city was featured in Fodor’s “No List” and hasn’t made enough improvements.
Whether it’s dolphins in the canals or extreme floods, ironically, this remarkable city is drowning with tourists to the point of being ineligible of becoming the next World Heritage Site.
Strategies are being set to combat the crowds, but will a $5 entry fee really make a difference?
One of the trendiest places in Europe this year was Greece. Many, at the very least, make Athens their first stopping point in the country.
Unfortunately, poor management of the influx of tourists is causing some big issues to their culture and the iconic Acropolis.
New protocols have been set in place to attempt to preserve the most historical landmark in the country.
Day trips have skyrocketed in popularity by cruise and the city just isn’t equipped to handle it. There are plenty of other amazing places in the Mediterranean waiting to be discovered while pushing the Acropolis further down on your bucket list.
Mount Fuji, Japan:
Mount Fuji has seen such a rush of travelers that Japan is publicly encouraging tourists to go more off-path.
Although its sheer beauty is a sight to behold, visitors are failing to recognize the danger in both the natural wonder’s longevity and the personal safety risks of climbing it.
It becomes even more of a potential nightmare as long lines of hikers become blockades to emergency situations. Locals have demanded new security measures from the government.
The highest point of Japan has seen irresponsible visitors leaving behind rubbish and not paying fees to help conservation – a double whammy.
Without proper management, it’s simply not worth the selfies and once-in-a-lifetime postcards you can receive at the top.
Destinations To Avoid Due To Trash Production
San Gabriel Mountains National Monument, California:
As the state that seems to take the most pride in being at the forefront of conservation and sustainability, you would think California would preserve natural sites better.
Apparently not. For a state with the goal of banning gasoline-powered cars by 2035, they’re off to a poor start making the world greener, at least with this destination.
Combining the number of visitors with the lack of environmental policies has made San Gabriel a dud for 2024.
8,000 pounds of garbage have been removed by volunteers, with the best solution now being to allow nature to heal from too many tourists and careless management.
Ha Long Bay, Vietnam:
Beautiful Vietnam has seen a surge of tourists this year. If you’re one of the millions with plans to visit Ha Long Bay, you may want to reschedule or change destinations.
Tourism is affecting the local community negatively, and conservation policies have gone by the wayside.
The bay is full of garbage and diesel, hurting fishing communities and wildlife. Boat tours frequented by visitors don’t realize the ripple effects that end up harming this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Atacama Desert, Chile:
As the winner of the ‘most romantic’ destination of the World Travel Awards, they must’ve missed the part about the massive dump site in the desert.
And let’s be real- nobody dumps on dates. As gorgeous as the Atacama Desert may be with its natural wonders, such as geysers, it’s also home to a massive dump site for used textiles.
It’s not exactly a place that screams romance. Since Chile’s government doesn’t allow certain materials in landfills, the dump site has become so big you can see it from space!
This desert may be marketed as a top tourist attraction, but it’s not all it’s cracked up to be environmentally.
These Destinations Lack Water Quality And Sufficiency
The largest freshwater lake on the planet is facing a plethora of issues, largely due to overtourism and climate change.
Warming waters are seeing worrisome effects on the environment, including icky algae blooms. Invasive species are invading the waters and affecting the ecosystem, which affects local communities.
Visitors are leaving trash behind at campgrounds and stressing the environment to its limits. As beautiful as Lake Superior may be, it may be time to give it a break.
The Ganges River, India:
India is a mystical place full of wonders across the country, but the Ganges River should perhaps be skipped on your itinerary.
Issues are wide-ranging from pollution, endangered dolphins, and too many luxury cruise tourists. Pollution has been a major problem for years. Yet, the Hindu religion still sees this river as sacred even with an estimated 800 million gallons of untreated sewage poured into this body of water.
Even if you do decide to add the Ganges River to your itinerary, this is not the place to cross off “go swimming with dolphins”.
Koh Samui, Thailand:
Koh Samui is a popular island destination in Thailand, but it comes with underlying problems. Water shortages are plaguing the island as 70% of supplies are being consumed.
Just this summer, advisories were put in place that there were only 30 days of freshwater left. This has caused locals to have to pay out of pocket for bottled water for both personal and business use.
The hordes of tourists just simply aren’t helping, as more people equals more consumption. The water shortage began last December and is still ongoing today.
Locals believe fewer tourists will help the island to get back to where it needs to be to become a thriving destination once again.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com