Once-Popular Island Vacations That Need to Make a Comeback
Once-Popular Island Vacations That Need to Make a Comeback
As borders and global affairs change over time, so too does tourism. Trends in travel can change as quickly as the tides, and what was once a leading international destination decades ago may now be completely left off the average globetrotter’s bucket list. However, many destinations simply fall victim to the rise of a bigger, shinier destination that draws away travelers’ attention, whereas others find that they’ve lost visitors due to political upheaval or natural disasters that, even when resolved, may leave lasting effects on their tourism industry.
The island escape, in particular, has always captured the imagination of many a vacationer. While islands such as Hawaii, Bali, and Santorini are the dream vacation of many, the classic appeal of other once-popular destinations remains. Indulge in a bit of nostalgia and consider a trip to one of these formerly popular island vacations that need to make a comeback.
While still popular today, Aruba was once an ultimate top destination, and even now, tourism seems to be on the decline despite the fact that the island is still as beautiful as ever. There’s more than just great beaches filled with stunningly white sand, however. Visit Arikok National Park, which constitutes nearly 20 percent of the entire island, and observe the beautiful flora and fauna of the island on its many trails.
A great winter cruise destination, Bermuda has struggled with a decline in tourism over the past 30 years or so after it had earned a reputation as a hotspot through the 1970s and 1980s. It’s a shame, considering the British Overseas Territory has a lovely subtropical climate that makes relaxing on its iconic pink sands a truly pleasant experience. Visit Saint George, a gorgeous town full of colonial architecture that’s been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site on account of being the oldest continually inhabited British settlement in the Americas.
Havana was quite possibly the hottest destination in the Caribbean in the 1950s, known for being a destination of choice for the rich and famous looking to party in style. While it may not be as glamorous as it once was, Cuba is once again becoming more popular among American tourists after travel restrictions have been eased. Learn about the island’s fascinating and tumultuous history through its many monuments and museums; witness how their famous cigars are made on a factory tour; try delicious local coffee; relax on its gorgeous beaches; and enjoy delicious Cuban cuisine as well as great nightlife.
In the 1970s, Haiti was a very popular and stylish destination, with the likes of Mick Jagger and Jackie Kennedy Onassis taking to vacationing in the western half of Hispaniola. Government instability caused a decline in tourism, which continued to suffer due to natural disasters. Despite its struggles, however, Haiti has remained resilient and today it is an affordable and picturesque destination full of beaches, mountains, historic churches, forts, and other French colonial architecture
Located in the English Channel off the coast of Normandy, Jersey is an island you definitely have to visit. During the 1950s, it became a popular destination for British newlyweds, earning it the moniker “Honeymoon Island.” Not as popular today, Jersey deserves a bit more recognition for its fantastic beaches, amazing coasts perfect for a leisurely drive, and wonderful B&Bs and inns.
Key Largo, Florida
The Florida Keys as a whole have suffered due to the many hurricanes that have plagued them, but Key Largo in particular no longer has anywhere near the same popularity as Key West, though it’s just a two-and-a-half hour drive from Key West via the beautiful Overseas Highway. You’ll find some of the world’s best diving opportunities here among other watersports and wonderful beaches as well.
Majorca became a hotspot for British vacationers in the 1960s, and through the 1980s, the resort town of Magaluf was particularly popular with British, Irish, German, and Russian holidaymakers thanks to white sandy beaches and fantastic restaurants and nightlife. Unfortunately, Magaluf eventually earned a bad reputation as a tacky resort town full of drunken teenagers. Local officials have started to crack down on public drunkenness, however, leading partygoers to go head to Ibiza and other destinations where rowdiness is more welcome. Add in hotel renovations and other efforts to draw in tourists again, and you’ll find that Magaluf is once again becoming a great spot to enjoy the beauty of this Spanish island.
After Hurricane Hugo passed through Montserrat in 1989, the island’s tourism industry was pretty much wiped out as over 90 percent of its structures were damaged. Hurricanes and volcanic activity have plagued the tiny British territory — which measures 10 miles by 7 miles — especially after the southern part of the island and the island’s capital became uninhabitable after the Soufriere Hills volcano erupted in 1997. Since then, the once popular Caribbean resort island no longer attracts tourists like it used to, but it’s managed to rebuild and recover and even managed to avoid Hurricane Irma with only minor damages from Hurricane Maria. Tourists can visit Soufriere Hills to see what remains of the capital as well as well as the airport which was covered in ash by the eruption, and the island itself is also characterized by beautiful tropical forests and untouched beaches, as well as reefs that can be explored via snorkeling or scuba diving.
Located in the South Pacific, Tahiti is the largest and most populous of the 118 islands and atolls that make up French Polynesia. Characterized by stunningly gorgeous coasts and world-class resorts, it has a multitude of popular surfing and scuba diving spots that make it a wonderfully adventurous tropical destination. Because of the global financial crisis, the glamorous vacation spot has taken a hit in terms of visitor numbers, but the island has become more accessible and affordable than ever as more new flight routes are added from the western United States, one reason it promises to be one of the top destinations of the year.
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