Over-tourism is a real concern for destinations that are under siege by too many tourists.
While tourism is great for a country’s economy, some places simply don’t have the infrastructure to support the tourism boom. Over-tourism not only influences the atmosphere of these places but also affects those living there.
Locals are being pushed out and resent the tourists. Demonstrations are given to protest mass tourism and cruise ships – many citizens have had enough. But the world has many alluring places waiting to be explored. WorldHotels proposes four underrated, yet charming destinations that offer enough art, culture, history, food and wine to satisfy.
The following destinations have yet to be overrun by tourists.
Living the fairytale in Strasbourg, France
Strasbourg is a beautiful fusion of culture, cuisine and language, complete with stunning architectural wonders from the Medieval, Renaissance, Romantic and Art Nouveau eras. Renown for its La Petite France district, one of Strasbourg’s most famous historic quarters, the picturesque area is also the most Instagrammable part of the city with its half-timbered houses, cobblestone streets and river canals. Sitting right in the heart of La Petite France is Hotel & Spa Régent Petite France, a cozy hotel with scenic riverside views. Setting the luxury benchmark for Strasbourg higher than ever, the stunning hotel seals the deal for those keen to explore France’s Alsatian capital. Travelers looking for a taste of the country’s exquisite Alsatian cuisine can also visit one of the many family-owned Alsatian winstubs (wine-rooms) offering traditional dishes and the very best of wines from the region.
Experience the idyllic Italian Riviera life in Genoa, Italy
While Italian cities such as Rome and Venice are extremely popular among tourists, Genoa is a destination with hidden charms minus the throng of tourists in the autumn. The capital of the Liguria region is a true gem in the Italian Riviera, renowned for its bustling port and its UNESCO-listed Via Garibaldi. Take a walk down the caruggi(narrow lanes) in the Old town, where plenty of preserved medieval buildings still stand today and pop by the Genoa Cathedral, a magnificent piece of architecture featuring striking black and white shapes on the exterior built in 1098. To be near all the city’s landmarks, stay at the Grand Hotel Savoia, a beautifully restored hotel dating back to more than a century ago. With 117 unique guestrooms and suites featuring striking décor inspired by the fabulous atmosphere of the Belle Époque, the hotel is ideal for a luxury getaway during the long holiday.
For a unique desert holiday, travelers can head to Borrego Springs, a town surrounded by the stunning Anza-Borrego Desert State Park in California. Experience the romance of a bygone era at La Casa del Zorro, a desert resort and spa nestled within the desert park. Over the years, the resort has been carefully restored to recapture the elegance and style visitors first enjoyed in 1937. All rooms and casitas feature authentic Southwestern desert-style furnishings and a cozy fireplace for chilly desert nights. Active travelers will enjoy the many outdoor activities the park has to offer. Hop on a bike to explore the great scenery, take a hike at the Borrego Palm Canyon, and marvel at the many species of desert plants that have survived in the harsh climate. Kids will especially love the metal sculptures of pre-historic animals found at the Galleta Meadows Estate.
Uncover artistic talent in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
A thriving city pulsating with endless energy, Ho Chi Minh City is home to a flourishing art scene that is rapidly gaining international recognition. Over the years, the city has formed a close-knit group of artists, gallerists, curators and educators collaborating to promote contemporary art in Vietnam. For art and culture aficionados, the historic Caravelle Saigon, a sensational five-star hotel situated in the city center, is the perfect base for exploring the city’s buzzing art scene. After undergoing an extensive renovation, the hotel now boasts spacious new guest rooms in its Opera Wing with outstanding views of either the historic Opera House or the meandering Saigon River. A stone’s throw away unveils hidden gems such as the Couleurs by Réhahn Fine Art Photography – Dong Khoi, Saigon and Vietnam Art Gallery – two local galleries popular with the modern crowd, housed in remarkably well-preserved colonial buildings.