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Amsterdam, Venice and more popular travel destinations that are sick and tired of tourists

Amsterdam, Venice and more popular destinations that are tired of tourists

Amsterdam, Venice and more popular travel destinations that are sick and tired of tourists
What happenes when tourism goes overboard? To identify places that are no longer very welcoming to tourists, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed dozens of tourist guides and news articles about those that have imposed or proposed restrictions on visitors. Click ahead to see which places made the list.
1. Skellig Michael, Ireland – The island where "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" was filmed in 2015 has been growing in popularity ever since. Popular appeal, combined with an increase in boat permits, led to almost 17,000 visitors in 2017 and about 7,000 mid-May and mid-July 2018. The UNESCO World Heritage Site allows no more than 180 tourists per day.
2. Mogao Grottoes, China – The 1,600 year-old Mogao Grottoes are known for their Buddhist art and were China's first UNESCO site. The Library Cave uncovered there has been called "the world's greatest discovery of ancient Oriental culture." The maximum number of daily visitors is 6,000. During peak season, the daily limit is 10,000 every other day.
3. Venice, Italy – The "City of Water" has adapted aggressive strategies to limit the number of tourists. The annual total has reached 30 million, whereas only about 50,000 people actually live in the city. Tourists visiting for the day (averaging as many as 70,000) may soon be charged an entrance fee of about $11.50. During peak times, tourists and locals can be separated, with visitors being redirected to popular places while some areas are only open to locals.
4. Barcelona – Similar to Venice, one of Spain's most visited cities has been struggling with too many tourists for decades. The city of 1.7 million sees about 32 million tourists a year. No official limit on tourists has been imposed yet, but talk about such restrictions seems to never end. A 2017 law limited the number of beds available in hotels and rentals, imposed a moratorium on building new hotels, and stopped the issuing of licenses for new tourist apartments.
5. Amsterdam – Locals are not the only ones who say the city is flooded with tourists; visitors themselves agree their high number of about 20 million a year is a problem. A plan to ban Airbnbs in busy neighborhoods and to limit rentals to 30 days a year outside of them was revealed in May 2018. Passengers visiting on boats will no longer be allowed to disembark in the city center. The plan included a tourist tax hike to 7 percent, up from 6 percent in the city and 4 percent outside it. Other proposals include cruises paying a fee of about $9 per passenger starting this year.
6. Taj Mahal, Agra, India – The most famous mausoleum in the world has about 8 million visitors a year. India's government is limiting tourists to no more than three hours there in order to prevent overcrowding. Previously it was not uncommon for some people to spend an entire day there. The Taj Mahal easily sees about 60,000 tourists a day during the peak season.
7. Zion National Park, Utah – The third most visited national park in the country attracts more than 4.5 million a year. (No. 1 is Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and No. 2 is Grand Canyon.) The National Park Services (NPS), which manages all 60 national parks in the country, has been considering an admissions cap at Zion, which is famous for its red cliffs and narrow canyons.
8. Boracay, Philippines – The famous Boracay island was closed for six months to give locals a chance to clean it up. The country's president had described it as a "cesspool" due to its inadequate sewage system. The island reopened in October 2018, but with the number of tourists way below the daily limit. Tourism is now limited to 6,000 visitors a day at least until October 2019, down from 19,000 before the shutdown.
9. Angkor Wat – The Cambodian government has said in its tourism management plan that restrictions on the numbers of tourists in certain parts of the site and on the time spent in the temples are necessary to preserve the complex, which dates back to the 12th century. More than 5 million people visit a year. In March 2017, it was decided that no more than 300 people will be allowed on Phnom Bakheng at one time, a very popular hill from which to watch the sunset over the ancient ruins.
10. Antarctica – The number of tourists rose by 17 percent – to almost 52,000 – in the year up to the 2017/2018 season. Ships with more than 500 passengers are not allowed to land while in Antarctic waters. The maximum number of visitors allowed ashore to see the scenery and wildlife is 100. A permit is required for all human activities, according to the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators.
11. The Galapagos Islands – The Galapagos Islands are one of the most diverse ecosystems in the world, known for wildlife and marine species, and for inspiring Charles Darwin's theory of evolution. The archipelago's popularity is hurting animal and plant life, which is why the authorities are imposing a limit for cruise passengers. They can't stay more than five days, and there will be no more than four landings in 14 days.
12. Isle of Skye, Scotland – The popular Scottish holiday destination has become too popular and is bursting at the seams. It is not uncommon for hotels to have to turn tourists away in the summer. Many travelers arrive without plans or accommodations and are unable to find a room as everything is full. Calls for a tourist tax have been growing.
13. Machu Picchu – About 3,800 people visit the ancient Inca citadel each day. Limits were imposed in 2017. Tourists to Machu Picchu, which is located almost 8,000 feet above sea level, have to leave within a specific time and cannot go back. In addition, all visitors must come with an official Machu Picchu guide or licensed tourist guide, and groups cannot include more than 16 people.
14. Iceland – More than 2.3 million people visited Iceland in 2017, seven times the number of residents. Attempts to clamp down on tourists have been made in the past. A business tax on people renting their homes for more than three months of the year was proposed. Nearly 4,000 apartment listings on Airbnb in Iceland were created in a single month in 2016, 124 percent more than in 2015.
15. Bhutan – The landlocked Himalayan country has chosen to focus on quality over quantity when it comes to tourism. The country doesn't limit the number of visitors, but has adopted a "high value, low impact" policy, allowing only tourists who respect Bhutan's culture and values. All visitors must book their holiday through a Bhutanese tour operator or its international partners.
16. Cinque Terra, Italy – The five seaside villages connected by cliffside trails on the Italian Riviera became so popular that plans were made in 2016 to close the area once the number of tourists reaches 1.5 million. That would be a reduction of 40 percent from 2015. A number of people would be allowed per day and once that number is reached, tourists would have to make plans to visit on the next available day.
17. Santorini, Greece – Santorini, known for its buildings painted in stunning shades of blue and white , as well as sunsets, is one of the most popular islands in the world. More than 2 million people visit a year, often with over 10,000 tourists a day. Under new rules, there will be no more than 8,000 daily travelers from cruise ships allowed.
18. Dubrovnik, Croatia – Dubrovnik, which skyrocketed in popularity after "Game of Thrones" scenes were filmed there, is taking measures to reduce the number of day visitors from cruise ships. More than 280,000 visited between January and June of 2018. In 2017, 749,000 tourists visited. Now, there will be no more than 4,000 tourists allowed in the Old City at any time, even though the UNESCO recommendation is 8,000.
19. Lord Howe Island, Australia – The small island off the coast of Australia, only reached by boat or plane, has capped daily visits at 400. Locals recommend against people buying tickets without confirmed accommodation because fares may not be refundable.
20. Bali, Indonesia – Bali, an island of 4.2 million people, attracted 5 million tourists in the first 10 months of 2018 alone. In September, the local government proposed a ban on tourists entering sacred parts of temples after several instances of unruly and disrespectful visitors desecrating holy sites.

People go to new places to explore charming villages, unspoiled beaches and ancient architecture – but what happens when the interest in popular destinations leads to overcrowding? That's what's happening to a lot of major tourist spots around the world.

To identify places that are no longer very welcoming to tourists, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed dozens of tourist guides and news articles about those that have imposed or proposed restrictions on visitors.

Summer after summer, local governments are imposing or proposing new rules to restrict the number of visitors.

Click through the gallery above to learn more about which countries have a growing tourism problem.

Large crowds are pictured at the Taj Mahal complex in Agra on Oct. 20, 2018. Nearly 50,000 people visited the site on October 20, Indian media reported, making it one of the busiest days of the year for the iconic 17th century monument.

24/7 Wall Street is a USA TODAY content partner offering financial news and commentary. Its content is produced independently of USA TODAY.

See some of the world's most colorful places

Rainbow Mountains, China: Formed millions of years ago by layers of sandstone and minerals, the mountains of Zhangye Danxia Landform Geological Park might just be the most colorful mountains in the world.
This UNESCO World Heritage Site is well-preserved, thanks to elevated viewing platforms and paths that keep visitors off of the mountains themselves.
Lake Tekapo, New Zealand: The clean, bright turquoise water of Lake Tekapo practically begs travelers to jump in for a dip.
Be warned though that the lake is filled by glacier melt, which means that this water is ice-cold.
The gorgeous color is caused by the glaciers traveling down the mountain slopes, and grinding up rocks on the way down.
The rock dust stays in the lake and causes the unique hue.
Havasupai Falls, Grand Canyon: Havasupai translates to “people of the blue-green waters,” and once you lay eyes upon the brilliantly turquoise Havasu Creek, you’ll understand why.
Hidden deep in the heart of the Grand Canyon, the bright blue waters of the creek spill over a cliff as Havasupai Falls, filling up a temptingly colored pool that entices swimmers to cool off in the desert heat.
Havasupai Falls isn’t easy to get to. It’s a 10-mile hike each way, and day hikers are not permitted. You’ll have to be lucky enough to snag a campground reservation.
Rainbow Mountain, Peru: The peaks and slopes of Vinicunca, the Rainbow Mountain, are striped with shades of burgundy, gold, and blue due to the minerals in the soil.
According to locals, the mountain’s amazing colors were discovered only about five years ago, due to climate change that caused the snow covering the mountain to melt.
Now, approximately 1,000 tourists per day tackle the hike to this attraction.
Lake Natron, Tanzania: Lake Natron looks like a pool of fire due to haloarchaea, microorganisms that turn the lake’s waters red.
The more than two million flamingos that breed here add pops of pink color to the scene.
Lake Natron may be among the most colorful places in the world, but it’s not an ideal spot to go for a dip: The water here has a pH of around 10.5, which is nearly as high as ammonia.
Painted Desert, Arizona: The undulating landscape of the Painted Desert looks like it’s been carefully brushed with every shade of the rainbow, but the unique shades of this colorful place are actually caused by deposits of clay and sandstone.
To see the colors at their most spectacular, time your visit around sunset, when the rocks reflect the setting light in a fiery glow.
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