Just like almost everything in life, trends come and go. There is a new trendy destination waiting around the corner to claim the “world’s most popular” title. Some places, such as Paris and Rome, remain popular for decades. Others eventually fade, but are still worth a trip. Whether it’s because they don’t have the same allure, because huge crowds destroyed their charms, or due to rising crime, some travel bucket list spots have been noticing decline in visitor numbers, ranging from gradual to drastic.
Before Ibiza, there was Magaluf. This is where the party was on all the time. Now the holiday resort on the Spanish island of Majorca is mostly visited by British, Russian, Irish, and German tourists. The resort has gotten a somewhat bad reputation in recent years because of teens who seemingly party too much, as seen in photos published by The Daily Mail. Since then there has been a crackdown on drunken excess, causing younger tourists to flock to Ibiza and other places.
This is still one of the absolute best train trip you can take, even if not as many people do anymore,a nd even if not along the original route. This is the most famous train in the world, inaugurated in 1883. Its name has been featured in books and movies, making it synonymous with something exciting and mysterious. Take the classic trip from Venice through the Alps to Paris and on to London. However, most people these days do it on high speed trains.
You may have heard that Cuba is becoming more popular among American tourists due to some easing of travel restrictions, but the country was not closed off to anyone else in the world. Tourists have been going there for a long time, especially in the 1950’s when Havana was the hotspot for the rich and famous.
You may not know, or forgot, that Beirut was known as "the Paris of the Middle East" a few decades ago. Popular five-star resorts were places where famous people such as Omar Sharif were staying. Lebanon’s capital is not considered safe by many foreign tourists. The U.S. State Department has a travel warning issues: “Reconsider travel to Lebanon due to crime, terrorism, and armed conflict. Some areas have increased risk.”
The place to be in Nevada, before Vegas became so popular, was Reno. Nicknamed “The Biggest Little City in the World,” Reno these days is mostly known for its proximity to ski resorts. One of them is the Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe. Be adventurous and hike above 9,000 feet. With a grand-total 1,200 acres and 1,800-foot vertical drop, the resort rivals popular nearby mountains for a fraction of the cost and foot traffic.
Southeast Asia has been a popular destination for backpackers. Vietnam was especially popular until a few years ago when people started heading to Cambodia instead. Another reason for fewer people to go is the fact that it was so popular. The unspoiled beaches were no longer empty and the historic fishing villages look more like cities due to big crowds. If you still decide to go, book a tour through the Mekong Delta, a vast maze of rivers, passing by rice paddies and houseboats.
Aruba has seen a 10 percent decline in tourists between 2015 and 2016 alone, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). The total number of stopovers visiting Aruba decreased by 14.2 percent in January 2017, from 104,072 in January 2016 to 89,269 in January 2017, according to a monthly update on Aruba’s Tourism Industry. If you do decide to go, instead of heading to (still) crowded beaches, visit the Arikok National Park. It takes up almost 20 percent of the island and includes desert-like terrain in addition to gorgeous coastal views. There are trails and they do four-wheel drive tours.
This Caribbean island has had its shares of natural disasters, and perhaps that’s why not as many people visit anymore. Port au Prince is one of the dirtiest cities in the world. But Haiti remains an adventurous destination, especially if you also love history and culture. Hiking and mountain biking in Haiti is a dream come true. The National Museum, rum distillery and vast stretches of beach are popular attractions.
The country saw a significant decline in arrivals faced following various terrorist attacks and a failed coup in 2016, according to UNWTO. Almost 40 million went in 2015 – about a third more than in 2016. Historical sites, Istanbul’s heady mix of East and West at the crossroads of Asia and Europe, and Aegean and Mediterranean resorts are the main draw for Western visitors. Make time to visit Cappadocia, a semi-arid region that is most famous for odd rock formations clustered in Monks Valley. Tourists go to explore Bronze Age homes carved into valley walls. There are many cave hotels you can stay in as well.
Everybody seemed like was going back when the book and film Eat, Pray, Love came out. A lot of people still go, but not as many as then. Bali, which is often called the Island of the Gods, attracts adventurous travelers with its seashores, mountains, and volcanoes. Begin your day early by cycling to Mt. Baur, then ascend to the top for a sunset experience. Tackle six miles of 33 class II and III rapids past rainforests, gorges, and rice paddies.
Before casinos, people were going for the bustling nightlife and nice beaches. The city has seen its share of tourism upticks and declines. With many casino-hotels closed or in bankruptcy and a lot of the shops and businesses closed, you can see the former glory of the place fading away. Right now, the most famous attraction is the boardwalk. It is awash with shops, restaurants, casinos, and some fun entertainment.
The best way to see the beauty of Ireland is by foot. And many have. Northern Ireland is stealing some of that popularity. (Game of Thrones most likely has a lot to do with that since a lot of the show was filmed there.) Hike through spectacular landscapes such as Killarney National Park, the wildest sections of the Kerry Way, and the rugged Dingle Peninsula.
Tourist numbers have fallen fast – more than 25 percent in just one year, according to UNWTO. Suriname used to be among the fastest-growing destinations in the Caribbean. The small country is becoming popular in one niche - eco-tourism. Visitors also like its diverse food scene.
This is where you’d go if you wanted to enjoy Ontario's wilderness. Just recently, a well-known tourism consultant examined the area and what’s wrong with it. “"First of all, you have a waterfront that is literally world class, it is that stunningly beautiful. The challenge is, you don't monetize your waterfront and then you got downtown Queen Street, which seems to be turning more into a social service street, than a retail or dining district," said Brooks.
Egypt saw a drastic decline in tourism – 42.1 percent between 2015 and 2016. The years since the Arab Spring uprising in 2011 have been sluggish. There are some signs that the industry is speeding up as the political situation has stabilized. See more than 100,000 artifacts from the time of the pharaohs; visit the enchanting Siwa Oasis, historical Alexandria, cosmopolitan Port Said, and Luxor, which is said to be the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world.
The Brussels attacks in March 2016 are the reason why the tourist industry was on a negative path. Tourist arrivals fell 13.2 percent from the previous year, according to UNWTO. Adventurous travelers who still want to visit should look beyond the chocolate and beer. Bungee jumping and skiing are popular adventurous sports in the country. Raft or kayak the mighty Ourthe River or partake in the county’s national sport: Cycling.
Home to the largest beach in Mexico and Quebrada Cliff, one of the world’s scariest cliff dives, –Acapulco is a stunning and thrilling destination to visit. But it saw a 10 percent decline in visits between 2015 and 2016. The country was also popular with Hollywood’s elite back in the 1950’s.
PNG saw a 25.9 percent decline in visitor numbers, according to UNWTO. Most of the tourist are actually business travelers, according to PNG Tourism Promotion Authority. So, it is stepping up its efforts to attract more foreigners. Did you know that Papua New Guinea has the most active volcanoes in the South West Pacific because the island lies on the very edge of a tectonic micro-plate, causing the eastern edge of the island to be a volcanic hot spot?
This is where you’d go if you are looking and a more exotic destinations and spicy food (or if you’ve always wanted to see a snake charmer performing live). The city was a hot spot for hippies traveling around the world. Gardens, markets and city squares—these are just a few of the conventional things that become extraordinary works of art in Marrakech.
Tourism numbers have been dropping since 2015. The number of Chinese visitors have also been on a decline (because of a diplomatic quarrel over Taiwan) – by 16 percent in the last quarter alone. Still, if you’re interested in vacationing at a warm, sunny and tropical location, plan a trip to the tiny Pacific Ocean destination. It is a terrific place for snorkeling and scuba diving.