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11 Popular Unfriendly Tourist Destinations You Might Want to Avoid

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Unfriendly Tourist Destination
Photo by TTstudio at Shutterstock

Barcelona, Spain

When Barcelona’s first female mayor, Ada Colau, took her place in office back in 2015, she didn’t mince her words about the tourism scourge in her beloved city. She said: “We don’t want the city to become a cheap souvenir shop,” siting Venice as a cautioning tale.

Since then, she has frozen licenses for all new holiday rental apartments and hotels and gone after short-term rental sites, giving Airbnb a 32,000 Euro fine.

She has also suggested introducing a new tourist tax and limiting visitor numbers. So, is this unfriendly tourist destination worth the hassle?

Koh Khai Islands, Thailand

The backbone of backpacker gap year travelers, Thailand, is mostly extremely tourist-friendly. But some places are now off-limits because of environmental crises.

The islands of Koh Khai Nui, Koh Khai Nok, and Koh Khai Nai, well-known for their colorful coral displays and popular with day-trippers from Phuket, have been strictly prohibited since Spring 2016.

The Department of Marine and Coastal Resources said that up to 80% of reefs have been spoiled in this unfriendly tourist destination, and ultimately, the decision was made to ban tourists.

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