Picture of the Taj Mahal
/KRIANGKRAI THITIMAKOM

Taj Mahal in the daytime

Tourism can be seen as a double-edged sword to some. While bringing in money to local communities, mass tourism can cause congestion, pollution and environmental damage to some of the world’s most beautiful sites.

In some cases, local authorities have even stepped in and put restrictions on tourist activities.

These are some of the world’s most popular tourist attractions which are now subject to tourist bans.

Boracay, the Philippines

One of Asia’s most popular tourist destinations has been issued with a six-month tourist ban following environmental violations.

The impact has left President Duterte to describe the once-unspoilt island as a “cesspool”.

After the island re-opens, it is expected that strict environmental laws will come into effect, including the temporary closure of popular beachside hotels.

Four women posing on the beach

Four women on the now temporary closed beach in the Philipines

Taj Mahal, India

The Taj Mahal, also known as the ‘monument of love’, is imposing a three-hour time limit for visitors after attracting crowds of 70,0000 at its peak.

The decision was made in a bid to stop overcrowding and prevent incidents from happening in India’s marble white mausoleum built in the Mughal-era.

Visitors numbers were capped at 40,000 a day in January 2018.

The Lascaux Caves, France

The Lascaux Caves in southwestern France are famed for their Palaeolithic cave paintings, some estimated to be 20,000 years old.

In their heyday, these impressive cave paintings were a hit with visitors, which attracted up to 1,000 people a day.

However, the heat and humidity caused by visitors in this ancient cave complex began to deteriorate the paintings’ quality, and lichens began to appear on the cave walls in the late 1950s.

The caves were closed to the public in 1963. However, visitors can visit a replica cave nearby.

Stonehenge, UK

Back in the 18th-century, tourists used to be handed chisels so they could chip off a souvenir to take home with them.

However, since 1977 the English Heritage site has been roped off.

This prevents visitors from touching, climbing on and eroding the prehistoric monument, which was built in the Neolithic times.

Machu Picchu, Peru

This ancient Incan citadel, built on a mountain ridge in the remote Peruvian jungle, dates back to the 1450s.

Machu Picchu attracts thousands of visitors every day.

To manage crowds, new timed entry tickets have been introduced, meaning entrance to the Unesco World Heritage Site is now split between two times: AM which is between 6am and 12pm and PM which is between 12pm and 5.30pm.

Visitors must stick within their stated time frame and cannot re-enter once they have left the site.

The Trevi Fountain in Rome
/MICHAEL ZEGERS/LOOK-FOTO

One of the largest tourist attractions, The Trevi fountain in Rome

Maya Bay, Thailand

Made famous by the 2000 cult film, The Beach, Maya Bay on Koh Phi Phi Island is being shut to tourists due to environmental damage.

The beach is being closed for three months between June and September, in an attempt to reverse some of the damage caused by mass tourism – such as the battered coral.

The Trevi Fountain, Rome

Last year, Italian authorities have banned tourists from stopping at Rome’s baroque masterpiece, the Trevi Fountain.

This was because of a number of illegal swimming incidents, inspired by a scene from the 1960 film ‘La Dolce Vita’.

Mayor Virginia Raggi rubber-stamped plans meaning tourists can only visit by passing through a one-way route which is now supervised.

A shot of Venice with boats
/JACZHOU

Venice’s Mayor is considering charging day-trippers

Venice, Italy

Venice’s mayor is considering charging day-trippers for entering the Unesco World Heritage Site.

The floating city can attract 60,000 visitors at its peak, resulting in congestion and overcrowding in the city’s narrow alleyways.

There are even reports of long queues at popular attractions, which is angering locals who are being forced out of the city.

The Ise Grand Shrine, Japan

Japan’s most famous Shinto shrine, which dates back to the 3rd-century, is seen by many Japanese people as the ‘soul of Japan’.

The shrine attracts over six million pilgrims and tourists every year.

Made up of more than 100 shrines, some of the outer shrines can be visited by the public.

However, the main shrine buildings are closed off behind wooden fences and can only be entered by a few privileged priests and members of the imperial family.

The Fox and Franz Josef glaciers in New Zealand
/PAKAWAT THONGCHAROEN

The Fox and Franz Josef glaciers in New Zealand

Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers, New Zealand

One of New Zealand’s most renowned glaciers have been ruled too dangerous for tourists to climb on.

This is because the dwindling glaciers are melting at an alarming rate, having lost several miles of ice this century.

However, one million people still flock to the glaciers, on New Zealand’s South Island, every year to catch a glimpse of this natural spectacle.

Chichen Itza, Mexico

This Mayan ruin on Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula is one of the seven wonders of the modern world.

While it’s still possible to visit this site, climbing up the ancient centrepiece, El Castillo, has been banned after a woman fell and died in 2006.

Access to the throne room inside El Castillo has also been shut off.

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