NEW YORK - Fodor’s Travel has revealed a list of places to “reconsider visiting” in 2020, its annual ‘No List’ that highlights issues - ethical, environmental, sometimes even political - that should give travellers a moment to pause.
“Being featured on the No List is not a scarlet letter,” says Fodor’s. “Rather, it’s a promise that when we do cover the destinations mentioned – all of which are, truly, wondrous places – we’ll be doing so responsibly, warts and all.”
Among Asian destination featured on the latest No List are Bali, Cambodia’s temple complex of Angkor Wat and Hanoi’s Train Street.
Bali, says Fodor’s, is suffering from overtourism, waste disposal and other environmental issues, although the latter are being addressed with a ban on single use plastic bags.
Angkor Wat is mentioned as a site that is being damaged by tourist foot traffic. And Fodor’s says a less obvious impact on the area is the water shortage brought on by this year’s drought and exacerbated by hotels in the Siem Reap area, “which continue to draw heavily from the province’s water table”.
Hanoi’s Train Street in the city’s Old Quarter is popular with tourists who come to see the trains passing through a densely populated neighbourhood, passing beside houses and shops. The street is cited as a danger, especially to Instagrammers.
“Dubbed Hanoi Train Street, the photos captured of the area are, predictably, stunning. But because the tracks are still operational, they come with a dangerous price,” Fodor’s says.
“Recently, a train had to make an emergency stop in order to avoid hitting the tourists snapping selfies and loitering on the tracks.”
Thailand has been named and shamed for the popular tourist practice of elephant riding as The Tourist Attraction That Needs to Stop.
The publication credits the “reflection and re-evaluation that comes to every industry” as the reasoning behind naming the practice on their list, as the demand for elephant rides in Thailand surges due to an influx of tourists to the region.