5 Popular Destinations Limiting Tourist Numbers Allowed

As travel across the globe becomes easier and more accessible, countries you may have long dreamt of visiting may be putting restrictions on the number of inbound foreign travelers they will allow per annum.

Many countries rely on tourism as one of the leading contributors to their GDP. 7 million jobs were created in the global economy within the tourism sector according to the 2016 World Travel & Tourism Council’s Economic Impact Report. The effects of tourism on native citizens, infrastructure and resources, and the impact on the environment make up some of the reasons why the respective countries are considering this drastic move to cap tourist numbers, or have already done so.

In a World Travel Market London research released in November 2016, three-quarters of 2 000 tourism industry professionals surveyed agreed that ‘tourism caps are a practical solution to the problems of overcrowding.’

This may as a result mean that planning your dream vacation may require a bit more forward planning, taking this into consideration. Here is a list of some countries that have limited the number of visitors they let in:

The Seychelles

View from Mount Copolia over the east of Mahe, Seychelles with the capital Victoria and Eden Island, granite rock in the foreground.

View from Mount Copolia over the east of Mahe, Seychelles with the capital Victoria and Eden Island, granite rock in the foreground.

This oasis of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean, offers a number of beaches, coral reefs and nature reserves to enjoy just off of East Africa. In 2015, Alain St. Ange, then Minister for Tourism & Culture, began at the time to explore the options of capping the number of travelers, stating that they “don’t want to demean the value of the Seychelles.”

Thailand

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Chinatown Bangkok, Thailand

Thailand has banned tourists visiting the islands of Koh Khai Nok, Koh Khai Nui, Koh Khai Nai and Koh Tachai. This was a means to protect the coral reef.

Mount Everest 

Ama Dablam Peak - view from Cho La pass, Sagarmatha National park, Everest region, Nepal. Ama Dablam (6858 m) is one of the most spectacular mountains in the world and a true alpinists dream

Ama Dablam Peak – view from Cho La pass, Sagarmatha National park, Everest region, Nepal. Ama Dablam (6858 m) is one of the most spectacular mountains in the world and a true alpinists dream

The Nepalese government has increased foreigner climber fees and banned amateur climbers. It has also and positioned an official to confirm the experience and health of potential summiters, all in an effort of controlling the number and size of groups attempting to summit Everest.

Barcelona

Aerial view over square Portal de la pau, and Port Vell marina and Columbus Monument at night in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain

Aerial view over square Portal de la pau, and Port Vell marina and Columbus Monument at night in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain

Barcelona is looking at avoiding it’s “saturation limit.” This has led to Mayor Ada Colau in 2015 engaging in discussions around introducing an entry cap, freezing new hotel developments, and in May 2016, the Spanish considered enforcing a tourist tax for day-only visitors.

Venice

Beautiful view of traditional Gondola on famous Canal Grande with Rialto Bridge at sunset in Venice, Italy with retro vintage Instagram style filter and lens flare effect.

Beautiful view of traditional Gondola on famous Canal Grande with Rialto Bridge at sunset in Venice, Italy with retro vintage Instagram style filter and lens flare effect.

Some academics are said to be concerned with the influx of foreign visitors to this romantic destination, fearing that by 2030, the native population could be down to zero as growing rent prices leave locals unable to stay in the city. An organisation called Italia Rostra which means “Our Italy” has requested that government also limit cruise ships and require them to book ahead of time, while water levels also increase, threatening the city’s historic infrastructure.

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