Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon in Iceland was featured in a recent Justin Bieber music video, and made appearances in the most recent seasons of "Game of Thrones." The canyon's cameos in pop culture have made it a popular travel destination for tourists, but the influx of travelers to the site has badly damaged it, prompting a visitors ban.
The Environment Agency of Iceland reports that about one million people have visited the site since Bieber's video was released in 2015. They expect even more now that "Game of Thrones" has come to an end, despite the ban recently implemented by environmentalists, which hasn't discouraged visitors from going. According to the AP, visitors have snuck in overnight.
Venice is already known to be sinking, and the masses of tourists that visit the city every year certainly aren't helping.
Locals have complained that tourism, including cruise ships, is responsible for increased pollution in the city, and the UNESCO World Heritage Committee is concerned about the impact it has on Venice's many historical sites.
Venice has implemented strict rules regarding tourism: littering, engaging in horseplay, not wearing a shirt in public, leaving love locks, and writing on or damaging trees or buildings are all fineable offenses in the city. According to CNN, the city is even limiting the number of new hotel rooms.
Locals in Barcelona aren't shy about their disdain for tourists. Earlier this year, a protest against tourism in the city turned violent when protesters attacked a tour bus and hotel.
Popular attractions have even changed their rules as a result of tourist activity. La Boqueria, a large public market, banned tourist groups of more than 15 people in 2015. Before the ban, large groups of vacationers often blocked foot traffic while taking photographs, causing disruption for vendors and regular customers, according to The Telegraph.
Santorini is a beautiful island off the coast of Greece, although it's often packed with tourists during the summer.
In fact, due to the seasonal influx of tourists, the island imposed a cap on visitors from cruise ships to 8,000 per day. A whopping 790,000 people from 636 cruise ships visited Santorini in 2015, according to Conde Nast Traveler, while the entire island only has a population of just over 15,000.
Amsterdam has long been a popular vacation destination for party-loving travelers, but chief marketing executive of Amsterdam, Frans van der Avert, told Travel Weekly, "A lot of smaller historic cities in Europe are getting destroyed by visitors."
Vacation rental sites, like Airbnb, have had negative effects on the city, according to van der Avert, who said that vacation rentals have taken over the city's canal district.
In response to a rise in tourism, the city has put restrictions on Airbnb in place so that a rental listing cannot have more than four people at a time, and cannot rent apartments for more than 60 days a year.
Komodo Island in Indonesia announced in April that it will close the island to tourists for a year because of the dwindling Komodo Dragon population. The Indonesian Ministry of Environment and Forestry said it caught smugglers trying to sell 41 Komodo Dragons on the black market for $35,000 each.
The island is home to 1,800 Komodo Dragons, which is the largest living lizard, weighing in at 200 pounds and up to 10 feet long.
During the year of closure, conservationists will monitor the habitat and ensure that the reptiles have enough food and a healthy natural environment. The goal is to increase the Komodo Dragon population.
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