Where not to travel in 2020

These are the places around the world under threat from over-tourism.

Cambodia has, for long, been associated with Angkor Wat. The 900-year-old temple complex has been at the heart of the country’s tourism industry and it’s the one thing that’s slowly dying. The steps of the temple and bas-reliefs are eroding, not because of the weather but because of the touch of many visitors. The bat droppings and vandals have left the temple complex in a sorry state of disrepair. Things are so bad that they’ve now started restricting the number of visitors at one of the sunset points near the temple.

The crisis in Bali is a lot more real because it affects the people of Indonesia’s most-visited island. Overtourism has caused the island to be inundated with plastic waste. According to Bali Environment Agency, the island produced 3,800 tons of waste every single day. What’s worse is the luxury villas are eating into the water supply of local farmers thus causing a real risk to the island’s population.

The Spanish city has a lot to see and do – from great architecture to a lively food and nightlife scene and not to mention a stunning beach. But it’s also what’s made Barcelona so crowded. Airbnb has made it expensive for locals to find a place to rent to live and because some of the most popular tourist sites are in the middle of residential neighbourhoods, there’s no place for public infrastructure to expand thus causing even more chaos.

Overtourism in Venice is such a big problem that the city has been contemplating a tourist tax. Tourists have been littering the city and, as with Barcelona, operators such as Airbnb have been causing more harm than help. Living in Venice may sound like a romantic idea but imagine if your home is surrounded by tourists at all odd hours. Surely you don’t want to be one of them. 

Mount Everest
Or indeed Mount Everest Base Camp too. Sure, Mount Everest isn’t up everyone’s alley and you train for months and years before you finally make the trek to climb the tallest mountain in the world. But here’s a suggestion for 2020: Don’t do it! In 2020, Everest has seen some of the worst traffic jams in history and garbage on Everest has been, well, at its peak. The only way to save Everest, it would seem, is to not visit it at all.

All photographs: Pixabay.com