The concept of last chance tourism which began in recent years has been increasingly attracting travellers to destinations affected by climate change and other similar issues. The travel trend has been preaching on the need to visit places that may get wiped out in the near future due to changes in nature. While the pros and cons of last chance tourism continue to be debated at lengths, some places which otherwise used to receive an average number of tourists in a year has been witnessing a major spike.
Social media, especially Instagram has been giving the necessary boost to the travel trend. With social media telling people to explore the world and to go in search of new lands, last chance tourism has been benefitting well. The increasing visible effects of global warming is making people travel to lands that they won't be able otherwise in the near future. Last Chance Tourism: Boon and Bane of This Growing Trend Among Travellers That Affects Tourist Spots.
Here is the places which are witnessing a spike in tourists, thanks to Last Chance Tourism
1. Great Barrier Reef
One such place is the Great Barrier Reef which is the world's largest coral reef system. The UNESCO World Heritage Centre is known for its varied species such as the dugong (‘sea cow’) and the large green turtle, which are threatened with extinction. While Australian scientists had been trying to conserve it for many years now, two consecutive mass bleaching events in 2016 and 2017 terribly affected the corals. While researches continue to find a medium, to save the corals from bleaching caused by rising sea temperatures, there is a rise in people visiting the reefs to experience the beauty that may not be there in the years to come. Australia Pledges Half a Billion to Restore Great Barrier Reef.
2. The Dead Sea
The Dead Sea is dying a little too faster in the last 40 years. The salt water body has shrunk by at least one third due to human activities. According to the data collected last year, the water body is losing water at a rate of upto five feet per year leading to sinkholes making it recede from its shoreline. Considering the present conditions, the lowest point on earth may not let you float in the next 50 years.
The capital of Italy's Veneto region, Venice has been attracting people from across countries for its natural beauty. However, 'The City of Water' has been seeing a spike in the number of tourists in recent years before it submerges in water faster due to rising ocean levels. Venice which is built upon 118 small islands in the middle of a lagoon, is sinking about 2mm per year. While the Italian government has been trying to save the city, it looks like a distant dream to be materialised. Climate Change To Worsen Your Health, Warn Doctors: Here’s How Global Warming Will Affect Human Lives.
4. Mount Kilimanjaro
According to a study published in the National Academy of Sciences, 90% of the ice on the peak of Africa's highest mountain has disappeared post-1912. Considering the trend caused by climate change, the snows of Kilimanjaro will be completely gone in the coming years. Tourists visiting the mountains are looking to hike through the snow admiring the beauty before it becomes a thing of the past.
The Alps are warming at double the rate than the rest of the world. The Alpine mountain towns have been received 40% less snowfall in the last fifty years. Mer de Glace (sea of ice) has lost over 210 feet in depth in the last 20 years. While tourists are running to the mountains, we are not sure, until the Earth will be able to withhold the beauty. Melting Swiss Alps Sends Climate Change Message With Record-Breaking Giant Postcard.
6. Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu in Peru has been also receiving a lot of tourists in recent years. While erosion has been the primary problem the fragile ruins have been facing, an increasing number of tourists have been threatening the existence of the 15-century city.
About 60 species of lemurs live on the island of Madagascar, including the Indri, the world's largest lemur. Africa's ancient Baobabs trees which are around 3,000 years known as the 'tree of life' have been threatened by climate change. Around 80 percent of the island's forest has been destroyed. There is a spike in people visiting the place as it unlikely that Madagascar will be able to keep the land intact for a long time.
Other places that have been attracting travel lovers due to last chance tourism includes, Amazon forest cover located mostly in South America, Russia's Yamal Peninsula, Japan's ice monsters, Maldives and Alaska. While the government of these countries have been adopting different measures to save their tourist destinations, the plans may take longer to come into effect. Meanwhile, travellers continue to tick off their bucket list items before the places vanish from the surface of Earth.