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15 Overrated Tourist Destinations To Skip On

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In today’s fast-paced world, travel serves as a vital escape. It’s a chance to break free from the daily grind, immerse ourselves in diverse cultures, and explore breathtaking landscapes. However, the allure of a particular destination can sometimes become a double-edged sword. Many popular hotspots experience a relentless influx of visitors, transforming them from charming locales into overcrowded havens. This can significantly detract from the very experience travelers seek – a chance to experience something new and unique.

To shed light on this phenomenon, a recent study by MoneyTransfers.com took a fascinating approach. They compared the number of tourists arriving at popular destinations with the resident population. This unique analysis revealed the places where tourists truly reign supreme, offering valuable insights for travelers seeking a more authentic experience.

Phuket, Thailand

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Phuket, the tropical paradise, is renowned for its beautiful beaches and lively nightlife. However, with an overwhelming ratio of 118.5 tourists to each resident, Phuket has earned the distinction of being the most densely populated city in the world. The island’s popularity often leads to crowded beaches and streets, particularly during the holiday season.

Two other cities from Thailand, Pattaya and Krabi, are second and third on the list of the most overcrowded tourist destinations, with a ratio of 98.7 and 72.2 tourists to inhabitants, respectively.

Muğla, Turkey

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With its stunning beachfront, lovely resort towns, distinctive Aegean villages, and verdant forests, Muğla is Turkey’s most popular holiday spot. It offers a beautiful blend of ancient history and Mediterranean charm – the perfect mix for a vacation.

In fact, during the coronavirus pandemic, Muğla became the top destination for British travelers. This gorgeous province made it to the list of one of the most over-crowded travel destinations this year, with an estimated 40 tourists per inhabitant.

Hurghada, Egypt

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Nestled on the shores of the Red Sea, Hurghada, Egypt, is an idyllic tourist hotspot. The warm sea, adorned with stunning coral and crystal-clear water, offers unparalleled diving and snorkeling experiences. Adventure seekers can enjoy a quad ride across the expansive desert surrounding Hurghada or try their hand at Egypt’s largest wakeboard cable park.

This bustling resort city sees an estimated 28.6 tourists for every resident. So, those searching for a peaceful travel destination might find the high tourist activity here less appealing.

Macau, China

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Macau, often dubbed the “Vegas of China,” is a global hub for casinos and resorts. It’s a melting pot of Portuguese and Chinese influences, reflected in its unique architecture, cuisine, and traditions.

It’s the most densely populated area worldwide, with an estimated 27 tourists per resident and a staggering 18.9 million international arrivals annually. This bustling city might be overwhelming for those uncomfortable in crowded places.

Heraklion, Greece

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Located near Crete’s significant archaeological sites, Knossos Palace and Phaistos Palace, Heraklion serves as an ideal starting point for your journey of discovery. The region itself is charming, boasting beautiful beaches and a vibrant town filled with remnants from the Venetian era.

Known for its high tourist influx, especially during the summer, Heraklion sees an estimated 22 tourists for every resident. This situation may worsen in 2024 due to the rise in global tourism.

However, despite the overcrowding, many visitors are drawn to Heraklion for its rich history and attractions.

Rhodes, another destination in Greece, makes it to our overcrowded destination list with a high tourist-to-inhabitant ratio, at 20 tourists for every inhabitant.

Venice, Italy

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Venice, the world-famous city of canals and romantic gondola rides, has been described as overrated and overcrowded by many visitors. Overtourism is a real challenge. Approximately 4.6 million tourists visited Venice in 2022.

Some say Venice has lost its charm by catering so much to tourists. Cheesy souvenir shops have squeezed out local businesses, and the low quality, yet expensive, souvenir stands lining the streets give the city a tacky feel.

Be wary of pickpockets and scams here.

Miami, United States

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Miami, also known as the Magic City, is a popular vacation destination. It is famous for its vibrant nightlife, cultural diversity, and laid-back beaches. Time Magazine named Miami ‘The Capital of Latin America‘ for its pulsating center of trade, commerce, entertainment, pop culture, and arts.

The city reported record tourism in 2022, with 18,6 tourists to every resident. This has led to concerns about it negatively impacting residents. The average daily room rate in Miami-Dade County from March 13-19 was $358.95, up from $250.70 in pre-pandemic 2019. This boom in tourism has brought challenges such as increased noise, pollution, traffic, and strain on public resources.

Orlando, United States

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Orlando is well known for its theme parks and attractions. However, it has been experiencing significant overcrowding, especially during peak tourist seasons.

More than 74 million visitors came to Orlando in 2022, nearly reaching pre-pandemic levels. This bustling resort city sees an estimated 17.8 tourists for every resident.

This heavy influx of tourists can lead to long wait times at attractions, crowded public spaces, and increased prices.

Las Vegas, United States

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Las Vegas is one of the most famous tourist destinations in the world. However, people who come to Vegas have a lot of preconceived notions and end up getting disappointed.

With a ratio of 10.2 tourists to each resident, this destination may not be for everyone. Some people may find the city’s atmosphere overwhelming and the cost of activities and food high.

However, many things to do in Las Vegas are worth experiencing, such as visiting the Grand Canyon or seeing a Cirque du Soleil show.

Cancún, Mexico

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Cancun is known for its beautiful beaches and vibrant nightlife but has been experiencing significant overcrowding. The city sees an estimated 9.6 tourists for every resident. The town attracts many visitors, from spring breakers to families, leading to a bustling atmosphere.

During peak seasons like spring break, the city can become extremely crowded, creating an “anything-goes” vibe. This surge of tourists can lead to long wait times for attractions, increased prices, and aggressive vendors.

Moreover, the city’s focus on tourism has led some to argue that it lacks authentic Mexican culture. Despite these issues, Cancun attracts millions of visitors annually, drawn by its natural beauty and recreational opportunities.

Antalya, Turkey

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Antalya, a gem on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast, sees an estimated 9.2 tourists for every resident. This popular city is famous for its stunning beaches, vibrant nightlife, and historical sites. However, its popularity has increased overcrowding, especially during tourist tourist seasons.

In 2021, Antalya welcomed over 9 million foreign tourists. This influx of tourists can lead to crowded public spaces and increased prices.

Florence, Italy

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As the capital of Tuscany, one of Italy’s most frequented tourist regions, Florence is a magnet for visitors. Its allure lies in its museums, fashion boutiques, and delectable Florentine cuisine.

Over ten million tourists visit this artistic and historical city each year, making it one of the most crowded destinations in the country. Florence sees an estimated 7.1 tourists for every inhabitant.

During the high season, Florence sees a 50% price hike for hotels, hours-long queues for iconic art galleries even with advance tickets, and it’s impossible to make dinner reservations.

Amsterdam, Netherlands

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Amsterdam, often called the ‘Venice of the North,’ is known for its historic network of canals and bridges. However, the city has been grappling with the issue of overtourism, which has reached a point where it’s impacting the everyday life of residents.

The situation is so severe that Amsterdam is now among Europe’s busiest travel destinations, with 7.1 tourists per inhabitant.

Denpasar, Indonesia

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Denpasar, the capital of Bali, is a magnet for tourists, drawing them in with its distinctive culture and picturesque scenery. Yet, the city is currently wrestling with the challenges of excessive tourism.

For the first four months of 2023, over 1.3 million tourists visited Bali, which was expected to reach 4.5 million by the end of the year. Denpasar sees an estimated 6.8 tourists for every resident.

This influx has caused a strain on the city’s infrastructure and resources.

Prague, Czech Republic

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Prague, also known as the ‘City of a Thousand Spires,’ is Famous for its Gothic architecture and the incredible Prague Castle. This city is also vibrant, with beer gardens, modern and traditional cafes, and a developing foodie scene.

Prague saw a significant surge in tourism in 2023, drawing in approximately 5.45 million visitors over the first three quarters of the year. With an estimated 6.8 tourists for every citizen, mass tourism has negatively impacted the city’s quality of life in recent years. Prague City Hall hopes to implement new strategies to deal with the issue.