In every nation, tourism adds value to the economy. It is one of the sectors in the government that helps grow the economy. As much as there are advantages of encouraging tourism in a country, there are few disadvantages attached. Some beautiful destinations have been damaged and polluted due to the large number of tourists that visit without properly maintaining these places. Putting different measures in place such as limiting the number of visitors and regular maintenance will help reduce the pressure on many tourist destinations that receives many visitors.
Here are five destinations from around the world tackling with high number of visitors coming in.
MAYA BEACH, THAILAND
Thailand is one of the countries that attracts millions of tourists. Just last year, over than 35 million tourists visited the country. With the high number of tourists entering the country, some damages have been made to one of the beaches in the country.
Recently, Thailand authorities have ordered the closure of Maya Beach temporarily due to the environmental damage caused by tourists. This will take effect from June and last for four months. The closure is to allow the coral reefs on the island recover from the damage.
In a statement made by a marine expert, Thon Thamrongnawasawat to Reuters news agency,
“Islands have very fragile ecosystems that simply cannot handle so many people, pollution from boats and beachfront hotels,”
“Sometimes, a complete closure is the only way for nature to heal.”
To save the beach which receives between 4,000 and 5,000 visitors, after reopening the number of visitors to receive daily on the island will be limited to 2,000 and boats will not be allowed to cross the shallow reef anymore.
CINQUE TERRE, ITALY
In 1999, Cinque Terre became a national park and now it has become home to many tourists as it receives over two million tourists every year. The area attracts tourists to its five brightly painted cliffside town. Over the years, environmental condition such as erosion and overuse by tourists have fallen the walkways linking the town that has about 5,000 residents and the terrace vineyard.
For a while, many people made request to the park authorities to reduce the number of visitors that come in but nothing has been done about it yet.
Recently, the park authorities have been testing an application to know how effective it would be in showing people the number of visitors on the routes they are about to explore to avoid being hurt due to overcrowding. About 6 years ago, a route was closed after some Australian tourists were injured. About 2 weeks ago, in a news on La Nazione, another hiker was reportedly injured while hiking.
MACHU PICCHU, PERU
Many keen travelers have Machu Picchu on their list of places to see. The Inca Trail allows visitors to hike there. This has been described as a great experience. Over the years, with the high number of visitors that visit the place, it has led to the damage of the Inca Trail.
Some years back, the limit to the number of people who visit was placed by the government of Peru and also closes the place every February so it can be maintained. A new system of buying tickets was introduced recently to limit the number of people that will be visiting each season.
JEJU ISLAND, SOUTH KOREA
Jeju Island is one of the busiest Islands in the world. It is a beautiful Island that attracts many visitors, especially couples on honeymoon. According to a post by South China Morning, about 15 million visitors visit the Island every year. For an Island that covers 2,000 sq km, the number of visitors that come in is a lot.
After Jeju got popular with lots of tourists coming in, the environment has been damaged. Foreign tourists have caused more traffic jams and trash.
While speaking with BBC News, a tourism consultant Catherine Germier-Hamel said
“The island is also receiving lots of cruise visitors, who just stay a few hours and do not really contribute to the local economy.”
CANO CRISTALES, COLOMBIA
Popularly called liquid rainbow by the locals of Meta Province, Cano Cristales is a bizarre site in Colombia. The river has a whole spectrum of colour, hence liquid rainbow. This destination does not really have as many visitors as other places but it requires a tough task to balance the ecosystem.
The liquid rainbow area stands a risk of being polluted and damaged if more visitors visit. This beautiful tourist destination is just emerging and it has started well. Some rules such as: no plastic bottles, no sunscreen or insect repellent in the water, no swimming in certain areas, no cigarettes, no feeding the fish have been laid down for visitors to abide to. This has been helping in keeping the river.
December last year, the river got a break. Speaking with Semana Sostenible News, Faber Ramos, co-ordinator of the ecotourism program said
“Human presence can harm the plants’ reproduction processes. That’s why we decided to implement the restriction.”