Ever heard of doom tourism? This is the phenomenon of visiting destinations that are in danger of disappearing forever. The urgency that comes with this idea of last-chance tourism has led to millions flocking to endangered marvels. So, which are some of the most popular places to visit before they disappear?
Top five places to visit before they disappear
1.The Amazon Rainforest
A trip to the lungs of the world is already a bucket list fave. Its array of fascinating plant and animal species, and uncontacted human tribes, have been luring in visitors for hundreds of years. Unfortunately, however, the future of the Amazon is increasingly uncertain. In the last ten years alone, it has lost over 24,000 square miles to illegal logging, fires, industrial agriculture and mining.
Yet, it’s not all doom and gloom; the fairly recent introduction of sustainable tourism has started to empower local communities to take a stand against deforestation.
2. The Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
These mesmerising islands off the Ecuadorian coast, are home to truly unique wildlife. The giant tortoises, vibrantly-coloured sally lightfoot crab, and other one-of-a-kind creatures led Charles Darwin to call the islands “a little world within itself”. Sadly, its growing appeal seems to be its downfall. Over 160,000 tourists visit these tiny islands every year, and the toll of playing host is starting to have a negative impact on the environment. To make matters worse, illegal fishing also jeopardises the islands’ fragile ecosystem.
With all this in mind, should we refrain from heading there? As is the case for any type of travelling, the practice of responsible tourism is the key. If you stick to guidelines and listen to local advice, you can enjoy the natural marvels of the Galapagos without threatening it.
3. Olympia, Greece
The ancient wonder of Greece is encapsulated by the iconic columns of Olympia. But, it might not be around forever; increasingly hot summers have led to wildfires getting ever closer to the this site of the first Olympic games. The constant rise of temperatures, along with the decrease in rainfall, make worrying reading for the ruins. Therefore, history lovers best book their trip quickly, before it’s too late.
4. Venice, Italy
Yes, the inclusion of Venice on our list of places to visit before they disappear, means the ‘floating city’ is in fact sinking. Venice’s foundations have been gradually subsiding since their creation; however, this has increased rapidly in the last 30 years. Combine this with rising sea levels and you can see why locals are starting to panic. The unusual floods of November last year, have only heightened the worry.
A project of mobile floodgates is underway to combat flooding, but climatologists believe that it won’t be enough to save this Italian city. So, you best hurry if you dream of walking through its famous squares.
5. Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia
These seemingly never-ending plains are a popular choice for budding photographers looking to take perspective photos. Somewhat ironically, the world’s need for lithium to power cameras and smartphones may lead to its demise.
Currently, 15% of the world’s lithium reserves reside here, and the value of this metal has increased by over 400% in the last few years. Inevitably, this has encouraged the Bolivian government to start mining. Little is known to what scale this will take place, but even a few mines would change the face of the world’s largest salt flats.