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Eight tourist destinations which aren’t very welcoming

Recently, the city of Venice in Italy announced it would not be tolerating any new fast food outlets to “preserve decorum and traditions”. Considering the fact that Italy is a popular tourist destination, this move was considered strange. However, there are many destinations where tourists are not warmly welcomed.

1. Koh Khai islands, Thailand

While extremely tourist friendly, some places in Thailand are now off limits due to environmental concerns. The islands of Koh Khai Nok, Koh Khai Nui and Koh Khai Nai, which are know for their colourful coral displays and were previously popular with tourists have been prohibited since May 2016. The Department of Marine and Coastal Resources stated almost 80 per cent of the reefs in these islands were degraded and so the decision to ban tourists was made.

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2. Bhutan

Tourism in Bhutan has been popular since 1977. However, it is highly regulated to preserve the country’s landscape and unique culture. The kingdom has a policy of “high value, low impact tourism”. Most visitors have to pay almost $210 a for visas and fees to see Bhutan.

Elephant Hill in Punakha, Bhutan. Picture: jmhullot via Creative Commons

Elephant Hill in Punakha, Bhutan. Picture: flickr jmhullot used under Creative Commons

3. Barcelona, Spain

In 2015, Britain’s first female mayor took office and had a lot to say about tourism affecting her city. “We don’t want the city to become a cheap souvenir shop,” she said citing Venice as an example. Since taking office, she has frozen licences for new hotels and also fined short-term rental sites. She fined AirBnb with $33,000. She has also proposed introducing tourist tax and limiting visitor numbers.

PHOTO: Flickr supersum via Creative Commons

PHOTO: Flickr supersum used under Creative Commons

4. Amsterdam, Netherlands

The city’s head of marketing recently said: “Cities are dying from tourism. No one will be living in the historic centres any more. A lot of smaller historic cities in Europe are getting destroyed by visitors.”

“We don’t spend even €1 in marketing Amsterdam any more. We don’t want to have more people. We want to increase the quality of visitors – we want people who are interested in the city, not who want it as a backdrop for a party. We see lots of visitors with no respect for the character of the city. Low cost carriers create a problem. Ryanair [passengers] – they are the loudest,” he added further.

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5. Various onsen, Japan

Onsen, which are natural hot springs, are one of the major tourist attractions when visiting Japan. While these are open to visitors, a survey in 2015 by Japan Tourism Agency found that over half of the onsen banned guests who had tattoos or required them to cover up their ink. Tattoos are considered a taboo in Japan, but with the influx of tourists in Japan increasing, this rule is becoming problematic.

6. Santorini, Greece

Greece is a highly sought after destination for vacation owing to its natural beauty. In 2016, however, Greece announce they would reduce the number of cruise ship visitors. The island of Santorini was becoming overwhelmed with almost 10,000 tourists arriving each day on cruises. The number is now capped at 8,000 and will come into force in the summer of 2017.

PHOTO: flickr snowfish2014 used under Creative Commons

PHOTO: flickr snowfish2014 used under Creative Commons

7. Cinque Terre, Italy

The UNESCO World Heritage Site has since February 2016 introduced a ticketing system to limit the number of tourists visiting the quaint fishing villages. Once the number of people hit 1.5 million, the area becomes off limits. Before this rule, the coastal area saw 2.5 million visitors.

8. Arlington, Texas

By analysing tweets, a private air charter company in 2015 determined which areas in the United States were most hostile towards visitors. The results indicated Arlington, Texas was the least tourist friendly, unsurprisingly because of its stigma for rudeness. New York was found to be the second least welcoming and Las Vegas on number three.


This story originally appeared on The Independent.

The post Eight tourist destinations which aren’t very welcoming appeared first on The Express Tribune.


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