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‘Not Hot Travel List’ reveals less-trodden destinations

September 28, 2017 Headline News No Comments Email Email

In case you missed it, yesterday was World Tourism Day, which focused on sustainability. To help it along, a well-known travel company has come up with a “Not Hot List” of memorable but out-of-the-way places for travellers to head for – lovely locations  that aren’t at risk of being loved to death.

Around the world, “over-tourism” is a growing problem, sometimes triggering a backlash among locals. See: Wish you weren’t here: What can we do about over-tourism?

Some places have always been more popular than others. Fashion plays a part; destinations can be in, out, or in between. Price comes into it too – sometimes travellers just want to head somewhere cheap sandy and hot. A few locations, particularly those with history and a name, are groaning under hordes of visitors.

Welcome! Local man having coffee in Cyprus

This year is the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly to promote tourism as an agent of change which can, in the words of the UN, “bolster environmental protection, champion diverse cultural heritage, and strengthen peace in the world”.

Peace in the world can use a boost right now.

In the meantime, Intrepid Travel chose the right day and the right year to release its inaugural ‘Not Hot Travel List’ yesterday (along with its 2018 Europe brochure) in response to over-tourism issues across Europe.

The company is offering travellers a bucket-list half-dozen fresh and less-trodden destinations to help combat the escalating issue of over-tourism in parts of Croatia, Iceland, Italy and Spain, and to promote sustainable travel.

No danger of being overrun by tourists here. Finland, summit of Levintunturi

Destinations on the list shouldn’t be hard to sell. Who really wants to holiday in places where tourists outnumber locals five to one?

It happens. More than 799,916 tourists from 539 cruises visited the UNESCO World Heritage listed city of Dubrovnik in 2016, a 13.5% increase on the previous year. It has triggered tensions among locals and tourists on the overcrowded streets. The situation is similar in cities like Barcelona and Venice, and numerous other tourist hotspots around the world. See: Anti-tourism backlash sweeps Europe

Intrepid chief executive James Thornton said yesterday the 2018 Not Hot Travel List had been developed in response to concerns about over-tourism, along with travellers’ desire to get away from the masses. A focus on less-frequently-visited destinations supports the adventure travel company’s ongoing commitment to responsible tourism.

“Europe is a favourite with Australian travellers, so we’re constantly on the look-out for new ways to explore the continent by adding unique itineraries and new destinations,” Thornton said.

“Over-tourism has become a real issue in many of the world’s most beautiful cities and it’s impacting the experience for locals and for travellers, so in 2018 we’re encouraging travellers to consider the alternatives, and look beyond the typical destinations,”

Over-tourism, a prime example. Tourist crowds in San Marco, Venice

Intrepid’s 2018 Not Hot Travel List

  1. North Cyprus – instead of Croatia, bask in the warm hospitality, hunt for castles and monasteries and swim off the shimmering northern coastline of Cyprus.
  2. Calabria & Sicily – instead of Venice, discover Italy’s vibrant south, a hidden gem starring dramatic cliffside villages, clear waters and delicious seafood.
  3. Portugal & Azores – instead of Spain, experience the food and wine culture of Portugal, or go Island hopping and hike around Sao Jorge or Faial Islands in the Azores.
  4. Finland – instead of Iceland, explore Finnish Lapland in winter, home of the indigenous Sami people, it’s a magical Arctic wonderland of pristine peaks and snow-dusted woodlands.
  5. Moldova – instead of Tuscany, enjoy the largest quality wine collection in the world without the crowds.
  6. Tatra Mountains – instead of the Alps, combine a traditional sleigh ride, village visits and traditional cooking in this winter wonderland.

“Responsible travel is about making choices that benefit not only the tourists but also the local people, while respecting their cultures, economy and the environment too,” Thornton said.

“The global tourism industry is growing rapidly, but not always sustainably. We need to work harder to tell travellers about lesser-known destinations that are just as worthy of your time. That’s why this World Tourism Day we’re introducing our new Europe trips with an alternative hot list.”

Written by Peter Needham

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