Home Traveling guide All the risky traveler hotspots to avoid in 2023, according to a leading travel guide

All the risky traveler hotspots to avoid in 2023, according to a leading travel guide

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Tourism can be an economic boon for many places, but it can also wreak havoc on the environment and local people. Renowned travel guide Fodor’s has released its “No List” of travel hotspots to avoid in 2023 to encourage travelers to think twice before booking their next flight.

Unlike the federal government’s travel warning list, these destinations cover damaged natural attractions and overcrowded cultural hotspots that need a break from visitors.

“This year’s No List does not serve as a boycott, ban or cancellation of any kind, but a call to travelers to think wisely about the choices we make,” Fodor’s explained.

If you find it annoying when groups of tourists descend heavily on the sidewalk of St-Laurent Boulevard, preventing you from passing, imagine how Venetians feel outnumbered by 370 tourists to one in their hometown. Or perhaps consider renting a bike instead of a car on your next trip to scenic spots in France, England and Thailand to preserve their natural beauty for future generations. Here are some of the destinations you might want to avoid this year:

French coastline

Etretat beach in Normandy.

Pixattitude | The time of dreams

France is facing major erosion along its famous beaches caused by swarms of tourists. The small town of Étretat in Normandy was particularly affected and had to briefly close its sewage treatment plant after a malfunction while trying to filter three times the usual amount of waste. Foot traffic also causes more landslides in the area.

Lake Tahoe, California

u200bClear waters of Lake Tahoe.

The clear waters of Lake Tahoe.

Christian Araujo | The time of dreams

Increased traffic is polluting the crystal clear waters of Lake Tahoe. “When it rains or the snow melts, stormwater carries fine particles of pollution into the lake, obscuring its cobalt blue waters,” Fodor’s warns. While local authorities are unwilling to discourage visitors, many have acknowledged that ‘we all need to give nature a break’. Research is underway to find ways to take cars off the road in favor of cycle lanes.

Antarctic

A penguin on a dirty iceberg in Antarctica, as a cruise ship passes by in the background.

A penguin on a dirty iceberg in Antarctica, as a cruise ship passes by in the background.

Steve Gould | The time of dreams

While the South Pole does not receive huge amounts of tourism, the people who visit it are all sequestered on the Antarctic Peninsula. This region has seen temperatures warm and wildlife decline at some of the fastest rates in history. Boats and planes to and from the compact site pollute the surrounding waters. Dirty, blackened ice retains more heat from the sun, resulting in much faster melt rates.

Venice, Italy and the Amalfi Coast

u200bCrowds walk along a canal and cross a bridge in Venice, Italy.

Crowds walk along a canal and cross a bridge in Venice, Italy.

Yuryz | The time of dreams

Overcrowding in Venice, Italy has long destabilized local infrastructure. Not only is increased traffic already increasing flood-prone waters, but the ratio of nearly 400 tourists per day to just one Venetian resident is pushing many locals out of their homes. Local authorities appeal to longer-term visitors who stay and learn about the city’s way of life. Meanwhile, the Amalfi Coast also faces hordes of visitors, which cause mile-long traffic jams in the mountainous area. “You could have an ambulance [in that traffic] and anything can happen,” a deputy mayor told CNN. To reduce the number of cars on the road, residents have been assigned days of the week they are allowed to drive based on whether their license plate ends in an even or odd number.

Cornwall, England

u200bPeople crowded on Fistral Beach in Cornwall.

People thronged Fistral Beach in Cornwall.

Dennis Kelly | The time of dreams

The idyllic coastline in the west of England is facing a housing crisis as temporary accommodation displaces residents and drives up house prices. The volume of visitors to Cornwall, known for its delicious bakeries and surf-friendly beaches, has become overwhelming in recent years and the infrastructure isn’t there to handle them. Roads are narrow and parking is limited, which has led to severe traffic jams and heavy pollution. Some local officials have recently asked tourists to stay away during peak summer hours.

Amsterdam, Netherlands

An Amsterdam canal filled with boats.

An Amsterdam canal filled with boats.

Louis Henault | The time of dreams

The influx of tourists to Amsterdam is equivalent to the total population of the Netherlands (17 million people). Now the locals are acting on the overcrowding situation. Beer bikes are now banned downtown and a ban on degenerate cannabis tourists could come into effect. Passenger caps have been put in place at the airport until March next year and may well be extended.

Thailand

u200bCrowds swim in Thailand's iconic Maya Bay.

Crowds bathe in Thailand’s iconic Maya Bay.

Xinhua | The time of dreams

Over-tourism in Thailand is damaging national parks so much that they now close for at least one month a year. Maya Bay in Phi Phi Leh which was popularized by The beach with Leonardo di Caprio welcomed around 3,000 visitors a day for years and finally had to close in 2018 due to severe ecological and marine damage. Swimming is now prohibited and only 380 tourists are allowed on the site every hour. The constant influx of tourists, however, has an impact on nature in the region.

Hawaii

u200bA humpback whale tail in the waters off Maui.

A humpback whale tail in the waters off Maui.

Ideaphotos | The time of dreams

Hawaiian residents can be fined for non-essential water use, but tourists have unlimited access to water at hotels, pools, and golf courses. In fact, over 60% of fresh water consumption on the island of Maui goes to tourism. Native Hawaiians ask travelers to avoid coming to the islands out of respect.