Top 10 Endangered Tourist Attractions in the World
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The world as we know it today is not what it used to be many hundreds or thousands of years ago and that’s common knowledge nowadays. From its primitive form as was taught in our history classes or even in science up to the present as how we see it to this day referred to as modern, such changes were as a result of the so-called evolution, or should we say, developments over time.
In line with such developments, however, is the danger pose to some of today’s natural and cultural heritage, only hindered by the will to preserve such sites as a tourist destination for people which otherwise would be a forgotten memory left by our ancestors to this world. And alas, that is indeed the case.
Did you know that a number of world heritage sites known to this day which are in danger are increased for the past five years? UNESCO World Heritage Centre, says so. This can be concerning considering that most of these sites are still an amazing part of humanity’s culture.
As such, the following list down the top ten endangered tourist attractions in the world.
#1: Machu Picchu
Why: Introduced to the world in 1911 by an American explorer Hiram Bingham, Machu Picchu has become one of the top travel destinations all over the world. Machu Picchu is a popular sightseeing spot for its Inihuatana, a carved rock that piques historians’ interest for its study, as well as the control gate where tourists can see a near panoramic view of the city. Alongside such privilege however is the wear and tear which are as a result of its tourists running rampant on its specially designed footpaths. In addition, a 112 Km railway line from San Pedro in Cusco to the highest point of the Picchu mountain, El Arco, contributes mainly to the environmental degradation of the place. Not solely for reasons that are man-made in nature, it is said that Machu Picchu lies directly on the Tambomachay Fault suggesting a hazard to the place as a result of an earthquake.
#2: Mount Kilimanjaro
Why: Towering a height of 5,895 meters Mount Kilimanjaro is the tallest mountain in Africa which is also known for the ice cap on one of its summit referred to as “Kibo.” However, of all its beauty as such, Mount Kilimanjaro’s ice cap is said to disappear by 2033 as a result of climate change as some scientists claim it. More than 85% of its ice cap has vanished since 1900, leaving only 15% remaining to this day since that time.
#3: The Great Barrier Reef
Why: Known to be the world’s largest expanse of corals making a variety of 400 different kinds, The Great Barrier Reef in Australia spans a 3000-kilometer wide coral reef and is the only visible living structure from space. Above the waters, The Great Barrier Reef’s area is a spot to as many as 200 types of birds and other wildlife and a site for many picturesque islands. Estimated by scientists to be at around 7,000 years of age, The Great Barrier Reef is said to be on the verge of death by 2050 as a result of water pollution coming from river discharges as well as coral bleaching as a result of high temperatures brought about by climate change.
#4: The Alps
Why: May have been immortalized as seen through works of literature, film, and art, but The Alps in Europe is not immune to global warming. Having lower altitudes than the Rocky Mountains, The Alp’s glaciers are more susceptible to heating which contributes to its rapid shrinking. Some expects such glaciers to disappear by 2050.
#5: Glacier National Park
Where: Montana, USA
Why: A place named for its feature, glaciers, Glacier National Park in Montana, USA is feared to change its name soon for its diminishing glacier counts. At its last official counts, 30 of the 150 or so original glaciers only remains and may have feared to have decreased since that time’s counting. To lose its glaciers is also to lose the water that flows on it thereby putting the park’s many flora and fauna at risk.
Why: Waterways of Venice. Known for its charming gondola scenes going through canals of waters, often a tribute of romanticism as depicted in movies. The sad truth however states that it is only those same canals that are left in this romantic Italian City. Many are claiming the city to be literally “drowning” as a result of increased flooding due to increased rains and rising sea levels which happen frequently. In addition, the city’s stones have gone significantly eroded and its wooden support more decayed making the city unstable.
#7: The Dead Sea
Where: Jordan, Israel, West Bank
Why: Dubbed as such due to its above-normal salinity, in comparison to other seas, The Dead Sea is the saltiest sea there is in the world. Due to the same reason, it cannot sustain marine life. Located in an extremely hot and dry region, the sea’s water level naturally fluctuates as a result evaporation. In addition, increased use of the Jordan River which feeds from this sea contributes to its decline. The sea is said to have shrunk for almost a third which sinks 5 centimeters annually.
#8: Taj Mahal
Where: Agra, India
Why: Completed in 1638 intended as a monument to Mughal emperor Shah Jahan’s favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal, Taj Mahal is India’s most famous tourist attraction comprising a part of 4 million itineraries per year for the country’s tourism. However, authorities are considering closing the tomb to the public to offset the damage caused by heavy feet coming from its visitors. Its damages were also noted as a result of a decline of water level in its nearby Yamuna River affecting its wooden foundation along with the damage to its walls as a result of air pollution and its visitors.
#9: Great Pyramids of Giza
Where: Cairo, Egypt
Why: Believed to have existed for about 4,000 years, The Pyramids of Giza is said to be at its last remaining few decades. As a treasured landmark of Egypt, the area is surprisingly not protected by its officials. Human visitors thereby are able to crawl all over the monument area which adds to its damage. Add to that the crowd formed by visitors, vendors, and tour guides alike flocking in the area.
#10: Little Green Street
Where: London, England
Why: May not be as well-known as other tourist spots in London. However, it is may be due to the same reason that it has not been ruined yet. Little Green Street is a one-block street in Kentish Town which is the sole survivor of an intact Georgian thoroughfare in the vast metropolis. It is known for its 18th-century houses which are protected as historic properties. However, the area is at risk of being destroyed developers who wanted to build on the land behind. It is feared that constant pressures coming from trucks and heavy machinery may ruin the street which has survived the bombing of World War II.
This article is inspired by this CNN Article