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10 Places That Hate Tourists & Why

FUN FACTS August 16, 2017 By Vincent

Most places in the world are pretty welcoming of tourists. It brings in money and allows them to see people from all around the world who have come to revel in what their town or city has to offer. However, there are a few places that occasionally take umbrage to having so many people arrive on their doorstep.

Here we look at a few places that sometimes don't take too kindly to tourists.

1. Venice, Italy

The city of canals is a big draw for many tourists looking to soak up some culture or trying to get some romance whilst gliding along in gondolas and, for the most part, Venice opens its arms up to tourists but with tourists come businesses they don't approve of.

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Recently Venice banned Kebab shops to "preserve decorum and traditions" of the ancient city. They've also limited the sale of pizza by the slice. The chief of tourism said of the ban, “The problem is that with a tourist city like ours, there is a risk of it losing its identity,"  and so they have taken the rather drastic approach to these businesses that arose largely due to the late night revelers that come to the city.

2. Koh Khai Islands, Thailand

A popular place for backpackers, Thailand has built a large chunk of its economy around tourism, but the influx of visitors has also taken its toll on the surrounding environment and, as such, some areas of Thailand are off limits to holiday makers.

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The islands of Koh Khai Nok, Koh Khai Nui, and Koh Khai Nai, are all very well known for their beautiful and vibrant coral reefs and day-trippers used to flock there which led to a massive degradation of the very thing they were there to see.  The Department of Marine and Coastal Resources (DMCR) said that up to 80  percent of reefs have been degraded and the decision was then made to prohibit tourists in order to protect them.

3. Bhutan

Only opening itself up to tourism in 1974, Bhutan has long tightly regulated tourism due to its unspoiled natural beauty and unique culture brought about by unyielding beliefs in Buddhism, as such the country measures its success by national happiness rather than productivity.

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It is not prepared to jeopardize this for anyone and so has a policy of "high value, low impact tourism" where tourists numbers are limited, and visas cost around $245 a day.

4. Barcelona, Spain

The Catalan city has sun, sand and gorgeous architecture as well as the world's best soccer club, so it is little wonder that it draws people from across the globe to it. However, since 2015, the mayor of the city has taken aim at tourism and certain businesses that cater to it.

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Citing Venice as an example, the mayor said “We don’t want the city to become a cheap souvenir shop,”  and freezing licenses for all new hotels and holiday rental apartments as well as fining Airbnb with a €30,000 fine. 

5. Amsterdam, Netherlands

Amsterdam is almost a city of two faces with the gorgeous historic city center, canals, art galleries and museums drawing in a more high-brow tourism whilst the liberal approach to drugs and sex work makes for a seedy sort of nightlife, and the marketing chief executive of the city has had enough.

“Cities are dying from tourism. No one will be living in the historic centers anymore. A lot of smaller historic cities in Europe are getting destroyed by visitors. We don’t spend even €1 in marketing Amsterdam anymore. 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 may have a point.

6. Onsen - Japan

Throughout Japan, there are many natural hot springs that provide public baths come community bathhouses, and many tourists wish to indulge in this cultural pastime, of which most Japanese have no issue with.

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Problems do however arrive when those with tattoos choose to bathe, especially in places outside of the bigger more cosmopolitan cities. Historically, tattoos have been associated with gang culture, and the Yakuza in Japan and the country has not embraced tattooing as many other countries have. As such, it can cause quite a bit of outrage should a tattooed patron choose to enter one of the Onsen and some have been asked to cover up or leave.

7. Santorini, Greece

In 2016, Santorini was the busiest port in Greece, but it had also had enough of this title, and so declared a cap on cruise ships coming into the tiny island. A small spot in the Aegean sea, it was simply getting overwhelmed by upward of around 10,000 tourists a day.

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Now that number has been capped at 8,000 to make it more manageable for both locals and tourists.

8. Cinque Terre, Italy

A glorious UNESCO world heritage site that is a series of stunning, cliff top fishing villages connected by narrow pathways leading along the jaw-dropping coastline, the area used to attract 2.5 million people a summer, and it was simply too much for the region to handle.

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A ticketing system was introduced and once those 1.5 million tickets have been sold, that number cannot be exceeded and so the area becomes off limits to tourists.

9. Arlington, Texas, USA

Apparently, based on an analysis of tweets about tourists, Arlington, Texas is the place in the US that hates tourists the most beating out places like New York and Vegas which are stereotypically seen as places with little patience for tourists.

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Granted, the study was not particularly scientific and was quite heavily flawed, but it still made for interesting reading. Tourists often head to Arlington to see things like the original six flags amusement park, Dallas Cowboys football games and the International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame.

10. Lisbon, Portugal

It's cheap, sunny and filled with history and culture but it is only in the past few years that Lisbon has become a major tourist destination and some locals aren't quite comfortable with the increased numbers on the streets.

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Pressure groups have been set up to try and limit the number of tourists and discourage them going into certain neighborhoods.


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