15 places that have been ruined by tourism
Tourism is both a blessing and a curse.
While a healthy amount can boost the economy, too much of it can be harmful to the environment and uproot local populations.
Before you book your next trip, consider how your wanderlust is affecting some of the most beautiful places in the world.
1. Caño Cristales, Colombia
With “the river of five colours,” also known as “the melted rainbow,” waters that are a hallucinogenic concoction of pink, red, green, and blue colours (a result of the unique micro-organisms living in it) and its jaw-dropping waterfalls, Caño Cristales is now overwhelmingly popular.
And, it’s only become more so after a 2016 peace agreement was signed between the government of Colombia and the country’s largest rebel group.
The uptick in foot traffic is cause for concern, as it could jeopardise the area’s extremely fragile ecosystem. In 2017, access was restricted to give the river a break.
“We decided to implement the restriction because human presence can harm the plants’ reproduction processes,” Faber Ramos, coordinator of the ecotourism program, told the BBC.
We asked our readers to share their most memorable moments while travelling with kids of all ages – and as usual they did not disappoint.
2. Maya Beach, Thailand
The cult classic Leonardo DiCaprio movie The Beach turned this remote beach in Thailand into a major tourist trap.
It’s not hard to see why! The secluded cove features glittering, translucent water, white sands, and limestone cliffs.
Then as more and more tourists flocked to the sandy shores, Maya Beach became impossible to enjoy; visitors could hardly walk, never mind lie down.
Thailand was forced to close the beach for months in 2018.
Though the closure was only supposed to be temporary, it’s now shut down indefinitely.
Embarrassing incidents, hilarious stuff-ups, failed romances, shipwrecks, earthquakes, motorbike gangs and more – these true reader tales from around the world show us that even the best-laid travel plans can quickly come undone.