You might find it a bit drastic to talk about places to visit before they disappear, but it is true that some very popular tourist destinations are in danger. For some, it is due to problems resulting from climate change, such as sea-level rise, for others to tourism overexploitation, degradation, or industrialization.
If you want to visit some of these places, do so before it is no longer possible. And remember that the best thing to do is to practice responsible tourism.
Italian authorities have approved a list of measures to keep cruise ships away from Venice. And it is not surprising. The number of visitors who arrive each year in this magnificent city is 25 million, which has caused a real exodus. Today, Venice retains only a third of the usual inhabitants it had a century ago.
But that’s not the only reason the Italian city tops the list of places to visit before they disappear. The lagoon where Venice was built is so unstable that houses and palaces threaten to collapse. And, as if that weren’t enough, if the sea level rises only one meter, the city will be submerged.
Places to visit before their disappearance in Asia
Maldives, South East Asia
This archipelago of 26 islands has become the center of interest for travelers in search of luxury and exclusivity. Money cannot buy everything, however, and the fact that most islands only have one meter of land above sea level means they are at constant risk of being submerged by rising oceans.
The government of Maldives has already developed plans to evacuate the population. It is estimated that in less than a century, the paradisiacal landscapes of these dream islands will have disappeared and that by 2050, they will no longer be habitable.
The Taj Mahal, India
The marble of India’s most famous monument is under great pressure. The pollution of the vehicles which circulate in Agra deteriorates it and the four million tourists who visit it are not of much help as regards its conservation. In addition, there is a problem with its foundations. They gradually slide towards the Yamuna river.
Residents of Agra can no longer visit the mausoleum as the price of tickets has increased. This is one of the measures the Indian government has taken to restrict visitation. Other more radical measures are also envisaged, such as the establishment of an exclusion perimeter, as was done at the time with Stonhenge.
The Great Wall, China
How is it possible that the largest structure ever built by man is on the list of places to visit before they disappeared? It’s very simple. A third of its 2,000 kilometers are in ruins due to the looting of bricks, which have been extracted for use in other constructions. It is not easy to ensure the safety of a monument which could cross some countries like Spain twice.
On the other hand, a large number of tourists that the Great Wall receives also contributes to its deterioration. We recommend that you visit the part built in the Ming Dynasty and do so responsibly.
The Dead Sea, Israel
The cosmetics industry is primarily responsible for endangering the Dead Sea, the saltiest place in the world. Large international companies and small local companies are both engaged in the extraction of their minerals. If you think there is no way industrial activity could bring an end to the Dead Sea, take a look at the photos of the hotel zone. Settlements that once stood by the sea are now more than a kilometer from the coast.
According to the scientific community, if the extraction of minerals is not limited, the lifespan of the Dead Sea would be around 50 years.
Places to visit before their disappearance in Africa
The two most significant factors explaining the disappearance of lemurs are logging and fires. Poaching is also taken into account. Thus, visiting Madagascar to see these friendly animals in their natural habitat becomes more and more impossible with each passing day.
Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
The glaciers of this very high summit are disappearing due to global warming. In 2000, it was discovered that the ice has stopped accumulating at its top, losing the white mantle that covers the dark layer of earth on Kilimanjaro, a mountain of volcanic origin. Its temperature therefore continues to rise.
Therefore, the glaciers of Kilimanjaro expected to disappear within 15 years.
Congo River Basin, Central Africa
It will no longer exist in 2040. By then, we should have lost two-thirds of the Congo River Basin ecosystem. The region is home to the second-largest rainforest in the world, surpassed only by the Amazon, also in danger. And 8,000 square kilometers disappear every year, threatening the survival of species such as bonobos, okapis, and elephants.
Carbon dioxide emissions and deforestation are responsible. It will no longer be possible to travel for photo safaris.
Practice responsible tourism and visit all these places with us before they disappear.