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10 Places That Have Been Ruined By Tourism

Published 1 year ago on October 24, 2018
By Hugo

Tourism is an industry that has allowed billions of people to see parts of the world they might never have seen had it not been for the recent proliferation in cheap airlines and all-inclusive cruise liners. For many countries, tourism is their prized industry, generating billions for the economy every year.

Shutterstock/ Nejron Photo

However, some countries have relied on tourism to the point where many of their most popular and breathtaking attractions have been ruined. From Thailand’s backpacking scene to Spain’s overcrowded beaches and influx of badly behaved tourists, tourism, while undoubtedly a wonderful industry, certainly needs to be kept in check if these parts of the world are to remain intact and retain their authenticity. 

Here are 10 places that let their tourism industry go too far. 

1. Barcelona 

Shutterstock/ Luciano Mortula - LGM

Barcelona is usually the first port of call for travelers keen to explore Europe's premier cities as it has everything, from sun-dappled beaches and ancient cobbled walkways to an easy-to-navigate city center. Adding to this is Barcelona's mostly dry climate, famous soccer team and host of cultural amenities. It is unquestionably a phenomenal place to visit, yet Barcelona has experienced a level of tourism unparalleled to most other cities in the world, making for an overrun city crammed with tourists and displeased locals.

There was even a demonstration held last year by disgruntled locals fed up with property prices rocketing because of tourists and opportunistic landlords letting their homes out exclusively to tourists. The mayor has aimed to rectify this by freezing licenses for all new hotels and rental apartments while also proposing a tourist tax to curb visitor numbers.

2. Venice

Shutterstock/bumble Dee

Venice is a sinking city, but that still doesn't stop tourists visting year-on-year. The locals, fed up with their city being overrun by cruise ships and selfie-taking tourists, have complained many times about the cruise ships that pollute the city while the UNESCO World Heritage Committee has even expressed concern over the protections in place to help preserve many of their historical sites.

To combat this, Venice has implemented a series of strict rules for tourists to stop Venice becoming an amusement arcade. This includes littering, going topless, leaving cliched love locks, and writing love notes on trees.

3. Dubrovnik

fjaka via Pixabay

A Southerly city in Croatia, Dubrovnik is famed for its old town that has baroque churches and an aristocratic palace to explore all within the confines of its pedestrianized, ancient castle ruins. As such, one of Croatia's most beautiful destinations can be enjoyed entirely by foot, but that hasn't stopped the city from feeling overrun by tourists and backpackers.

While nearby areas are more peaceful and serene, Dubrovnik itself is anything but- a popularity fuelled when location scouts chose it as one of the main filming spots for the HBO bemouth Game of Thrones. 

4. Reykjavik 


Following the economic crash in 2008, the majority of Iceland's fiscal funds were plowed into improving tourism, causing Iceland's desirability as a holiday destination to skyrocket. There are many reasons why. Its landscapes are breathtaking, with mythical hot springs, glistening waterfalls and spectacular views of the Northen Lights making it a prime destination for nature lovers.

The quaint capital, however, while both febrile and cozy, is overrun with tourists, so much so that you're more likely to bump into someone from Boston than a local. And with only 300,000 inhabitants, that's understandable, but it's little wonder many of the locals feel overwhelmed by the sudden tourism influx. In 2015 alone, more than 1m people visited Iceland, more than triple its entire population.

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