Often we talk about our bucket-list destinations - those wonderful places on Earth that we are simply dying to see. This time we decided to do something new and have compiled an 'avoid list'. Whether it is due to mass tourism spoiling sacred environments, disappointing landmarks, or high crime rates, we want you to be aware of all the places you definitely shouldn't be travelling to in 2018.
Thousands flock from all corners of the globe to see the distinctive blue and white houses of Santorini, and who can blame them, they are simply gorgeous. However, this little island within the Cyclades archipelago is cracking under the pressure of mass tourism, especially during peak season. There are plenty of other quaint and sunny holiday destinations out there, so protect Santorini's idyllic environment and local community by choosing a destination which actually has the means and infrastructure to support tourism!
The Sovereign state of Myanmar, also known as Burma, in Southeast Asia has a lot of appealing qualities; the state is a place of invaluable culture, home to fascinating golden temples and awe-inspiring wildlife. However this exotic destination is in the midst of a humanitarian crisis, as the military is accused of violating the human rights of the Rohingya, a local ethnic minority. Persecution of these innocent people is completely unacceptable. For a destination which has so much to offer, the recent events have more than tarnished Myanmar's reputation as a unique and exotic travel destination, hence it will not be featuring on our 2018 travel list.
The famous Galapagos Islands located in the Pacific Ocean are a haven for flora and fauna of all kinds. They provide the unique natural habitats for animal species which aren't found anywhere else on the planet. Yet the Galapagos' unique ecosystem is starting to degrade and risks being closed to visitors all together. The islands have previously been registered as a collective endangered heritage site due to the strain inflicted by excessive tourism. By not visiting in 2018, you're helping to preserve a very special ecosystem that's existence should be protected for the benefit of future generations.
Unfortunately, media coverage of the Central American country of Honduras is often negative, referencing the nation's high crime and murder rates. Violence and theft are sadly rife in the country, and as a tourist you may appear even more of a target, thus it's not a safe destination by any stretch of the imagination. We can only hope the situation improves, as Honduras' tropical landscapes, captivating jungles and flourishing coral reefs are merely a few of the reasons why asides from its precarious social situation, Honduras is an epic travel destination.
Phang Nga Park, Thailand
Thailand's Phang Nga Park boasts lush vegetation, sapphire waters and handfuls of idyllic islands with hidden craggy coves. It is the epitome of a tropical paradise. But there is a negative side to this popular area of Thailand. Severe over-tourism has meant that the National Park is in serious danger; its coral reefs spoilt by visitors who pollute the waters and try to feed and catch the marine life. Don't put Phang Nga Park at the top of your 2018 travel list and give this natural paradise a chance to recover.