Fodor’s ‘no go’ list discourages travel to Bali, Angkor Wat, Galapagos islands in 2020

Nusa Dua, a tourism enclave located in south-east Bali. — Picture by Zurairi AR
Nusa Dua, a tourism enclave located in south-east Bali. — Picture by Zurairi AR

PARIS, Nov 16 — If you want to be a responsible traveller in 2020, do the world a favor and avoid places like Angkor Wat, Barcelona, Bali and the Matterhorn. 

That’s according to Fodor’s “No List 2020,” which singles out destinations to be avoided due to ethical, environmental and political reasons. 

“Every year, we use the No List to highlight issues that we’re thinking about before, during, and long after we travel,” said editorial director Jeremy Tarr in a statement.  

“Ultimately, they are our inspirations for our tomorrows,” Tarr said. “Being featured on the No List is hardly a scarlet letter. Rather, it’s a promise that when Fodor’s covers the destinations on the list, we’ll be doing so responsibly — warts and all.” 

If you don’t want to add to problems of overtourism, editors suggest avoiding places like Barcelona, Big Sur, Angkor Wat, Bali and Hanoi, which are bursting at the seams and experiencing unsustainable visitor numbers to the detriment of locals and the environment. 

Fragile natural habitats and ecosystems that have been endangered by tourist activity — like the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, Parque Nacional Arrecifes de Cozumel in Mexico, Galapágos National Park and Komodo Island — should also be avoided. 

You can’t keep politics out of travel

Editors also remind travellers to be extra vigilant when drinking alcohol in Mexico and Central America, where dozens of people have died from methanol poisoning. Also for safety reasons, the peaks of the Matterhorn, which claimed seven lives in 2019, are discouraged, as is crime-addled Cape Town. 

Travellers are reminded to refrain from riding elephants in Thailand, where animals are largely kept in cruel and stressful conditions for the entertainment of tourists. 

And lastly, editors encourage travellers to their homework before supporting businesses with their money. Because while some camps insist that politics should be kept out of travel, Fodor’s points out that the two are inextricably linked. 

“... [F]rom passport stamps and currency exchange to geographical borders and transport accessibility, politics touch every aspect of travel from inception to return. As globalization bleeds deeper into countries and cultures, so too do ethical, political, and economic concerns that influence our choices around travel.” 

This year, calls to boycott Equinox-branded hotels, gyms and their subsidiaries like SoulCycle and Pure Yoga were widely circulated when it emerged that corporate owner Stephen Ross is a Donald Trump supporter and fundraiser. 

Likewise, travellers should also be aware that the owner of the luxury Dorchester Collection — which owns The Beverly Hills Hotel in the US, Le Meurice and Hotel Plaza Athénée in Paris among others —  supreme leader of Brunei, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, tried to implement laws making gay sex punishable by death. International outcry and celebrity-led calls to boycott the chain led the sultan to later place a moratorium on the death penalty. — AFP-Relaxnews

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