It's no shock, but sooner or later we all had to realize the best global places to visit would be discovered by more tourists and eventually get overrun, threatening the natural charm and character of area and/or the site itself.
Such is the case with some of the World Heritage Sites in Asia and elsewhere. Booming global tourism industries are meeting the increased demand for travelers to go the distance and see something extraordinary. At a cost. Gadling reported on how National Geographic Traveler created their own rating of World Heritage Sites based on sustainable tourism.
Top 5 World Heritage Sites, by NGT's sustainability rating:
- Norway's West Fjords (rating 87)
- France's Vezelay (rating 81)
- Spain's Alhambra and medieval Granada (rating 81)
- New Zealand's Te Wahipounamu (rating 80)
- Mexico's Guantajuato (rating 80)
Bottom 5 World Heritage Sites, by NGT's sustainability rating:
- China/Tibet's Potala Palace, Lhasa, and environs (rating 46)
- Italy's Venice and its lagoons (rating 46)
- Ecuador's Galapagos Islands (rating 44)
- Panama's Portobelo-San Lorenzo (rating 41)
- Nepal's Kathmandu Valley (rating 39)
Every traveler should read the full list and consider the impact of flocking to see an international treasure. Then do what you can to support improvements, if possible. It's sort of a macro-economic tragedy of the commons. Food for thought.