2022 was a terrible year for the weather.
In Europe, severe heat waves have killed more than 16,000 people, almost 1,700 people have died in floods in Pakistan and Hurricane Ian in the US has killed 109 people.
From January to September 2022, catastrophic weather events caused nearly $37 billion in damage worldwide, according to insurance broker Aon.
Many factors contribute to climate change, including travel, which causes approx 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions.
While tourism can boost local economies and, let’s face it, most of us love to vacation (especially post-Covid), there are certain destinations you should reconsider.
Fodor’s Travel Guide has come out with its annual No list for 2023highlighting “natural attractions that could use a break to heal and rejuvenate; cultural hotspots plagued by overcrowding and resource depletion; and locations around the world immediately and dramatically affected by water crises.”
Here’s a look at some of the places they recommend skipping next year.
Related: Climate change nearly threatened the fate of this Thanksgiving staple
Oh, the places not to go
French cliffs and coastline
France’s coastline is eroding, thanks to a wave of tourists. Places like Étretat, Normandy, a picturesque place that attracted many Impressionist painters, have been hit particularly hard. Fodor reports regular foot traffic along the white cliffs frequent landslides.
The situation has become so intolerable that even government officials are asking tourists to stay away. “We need tourism, but a balance must be struck,” said Jean-Baptiste Renié, councilor of Étretat. Many of them [the tourists] leave angry after spending several hours in the car without being able to find a parking space, a place to eat or toilets because there is not enough infrastructure.”
Lake Tahoe, California
During the pandemic, people flocked to this beautiful place, deep in the heart of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. They didn’t leave. The result is a mass of people and traffic polluting the area and pristine lake.
Community leaders and residents have become so concerned that they have started an organization called The League to Save Lake Tahoe with a mission to protect “the environmental health” of the Lake Tahoe Basin.
According to their website, “Heavy traffic crushes Tahoe’s roads into fine dust and debris and pumps exhaust emissions into the air. When it rains or snow melts, rainwater carries these fine pollution particles into the lake, clouding the cobalt blue water.”
Related: This solar-powered Florida city was built to withstand hurricanes. Did it work?
With its historic canals, ancient monuments and great food, Venice is one of the most popular destinations in the world. But herein lies the problem. The city in the water was not built for so many tourists.
Fodor’s reports a ratio of 370 visitors per resident per year.
Venice was already prone to flooding and rising sea levels, and the millions of tourists who flock to the city each year exacerbate the problem. Local authorities have introduced laws to keep the hordes away, including banning cruise ships from the city center. And from next year, Venice will charge an entrance fee to enter the city.
Cornwall is popular for its mild climate, spectacular beaches and unique culture. But like many old cities, the infrastructure cannot accommodate so many visitors.
“Narrow lanes turning into roads and limited parking in some of the most popular locations in the county combine to create traffic congestion, pollution and litter,” one resident told Fodor’s.
The Fodor’s No List didn’t name one specific part of Thailand — it warned people to stay away from the entire country. Why?
Popular bucket list destination Maya Bay, Phi Phi Leh – made famous by the Danny Boyle directed movie The beach starring Leonardo di Caprio – had to close in 2018 due to severe environmental damage caused by the nearly 3,000 daily visitors and mooring boats,” says Fodor’s.
And it’s no better in the north. Chiang Mai, the tourist-friendly city of northern Thailand, belongs to the most polluted cities in the world.
Maui is suffering from a serious water shortage due to record-breaking high temperatures, no rain and tourists, which are eating up much of the island’s water supply.
The island has been in a “Stage 1 water shortage” since June 30 due to dry conditions. West Maui, home to the popular tourist destination of Lahaina, is particularly dry.
“As the dry weather continues, reservoir levels and ditch flows will continue to fall, and it is likely that Upcountry water treatment plants will not be able to keep up with demand,” said Helene Kau, Director of the Department of Water Supply.
You can find the full Fodor’s No List here.