World traveling on the top of many people’s to-do list. Just ask the 1.19 billion international tourists who spent an estimated 7.6 trillion U.S. dollars on that travel in 2016 alone. World travel has become a global industry with the dollars benefiting economies greatly.
However, there are several places that would prefer not to have your travel dollars spent on them. Some cities and towns like to keep their areas free from outside visitors. So before you book your trip, you may want to make sure your destination does not include any of the following.
1. Mt. Everest
Let’s start the list at the very top: Mt. Everest. Located in the Mahalangur section of the Himalayas, with the mountain’s summit straddling the border separating China and Nepal, Mt. Everest has long been a bucket list destination.
And it isn’t just reaching the summit of the highest mountain on Earth (29,029 feet above sea level). Many hike the 17,600 ft to base camp, while others just go to Nepal for the experience. While both are fine reasons for a trip, it is bringing an estimated 729,550 tourists to nepal each year, according to the Himalayan Times.
This may be good for the tourist economy, but the many locals aren’t loving it. Many worry about the toll it is taking on the environment. Local Sherpas are also concerned about the safety of those climbing. As recent as 2017, Nepal banned blind people, double amputees and solo climbers from climbing Everest. There is also a list of new regulations that potential climbers must follow.
Now, let’s travel to the South Pole where the popular tourist continent, Antarctica lies … then again, maybe not.
For the thousands of people who like it good and cold, Antarctica has been that desired destination. In fact, although there are no permanent residence in this wilderness of wildernesses, 44,367 people visited in 2016-2017 alone for one reason or another.
Officials want to keep this vast area free from damage, so it only allows vessels with less than 500 people travel by cruise ship, and strict guidelines on how many can arrive at one time.
If you are one of the chosen few to visit, make your trip brief, on a look-don’t-touch basis to keep this winter wonderland the way it was meant to be.
3. Venice, Italy
Venice is considered to be one of the most beautiful places in the world, attracting 20 million visitors each year. That is a crazy amount of people considering there are only 270,884 permanent residents, and only 55,000 who actually populate the city.
20 million tourists. Let’s just think about that. That’s a lot of people taking serenaded Gondola rides, a lot of people at the Rialto Bridge, even more people everywhere else. Yeah, just a lot of people. While these tourists are bringing a lot of money to the economy, it can take its toll on the locals who are dwindling.
If you lose the locals, you basically lose the heart of the city itself. So, probably stay away and let the locals regroup and regain their home. That might be nice.
4. Barcelona, Spain
Known for fútbol (soccer), great beaches, booming city life and sightseeing beyond measure.
However, the locals are kinda’ tired of being visited. In fact, you might be met with a sea of protesters telling (not asking) you to leave. Many anti-tourism marches have made their way across the city. This is mainly because they themselves are being kicked out due to higher rent. Due to Aribnb, locals make more money renting out to tourists than they do local families.
It has become a tourist nightmare, and you might be better off going elsewhere.
5. Taj Mahal, India
The Taj Mahal of Agra is one of the Seven Wonders of the World, according to some reports. The story behind is one of undying love, and it brings millions of lovers each year to feel of its magic.
Unfortunately, the pristine white marble is turning yellow due to all of the pollution in the air, that is no doubt due to the tourist industry. It is also quite crowded giving less of a lovers feel, and more of a, “Too many kids in this tub” ambiance.
India officials have taken notice, and as recent as January, 2018, it was announced that India plans to cap the number of Taj Mahal visitors to 40,000 per day. This was spurred by safety and conservation concerns.
Moral of the story: Save you dollars and travel locally. Love where you live. Let others love where they live. But if you do travel, do so respectful of those who call that place home.