These Destinations Were Ruined By Instagram This Year, Here’s How To Be Better

By Parker Diakite


With more than one billion active monthly users, it’s no secret that Instagram is a powerful tool that helps to shape the way we travel.

A recent report by Expedia revealed that 30 percent of Americans are influenced or inspired by social media when booking a trip, and a destination’s photo potential is an important quality before booking a trip.

The problem with this, however, is that once a celebrity or influencer tags a new place, enters the influx of tourists.

Related Post: Amsterdam Considering Home Rental Ban To Combat Overtourism

As a result, the destination is ruined permanently or shut down temporarily to help preserve what is left.

Related Post: Indonesia’s Komodo Island Closing To Tourists Because People Are Stealing Dragons

Here’s a list of just a few places Instagram ruined in the past year.

Super Bloom at Walker Canyon in California

It’s no doubt that the poppy super boom at Walker Canyon in Lake Elsinore is one of the most beautiful places that you will see.  The fields at Lake Elsinore are covered in orange poppies for as far as the eye can see. 

Just recently,  the site had to temporarily close down as a result of “Disneyland size crowds” that overwhelmed residents in the city. 

“This weekend has become unbearable Lake Elsinore,” city officials told local reporters adding “it has been miserable and has caused unnecessary hardships for our entire community.”

Getty Images

Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon in Iceland

Iceland’s Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon was once considered a hidden gem.  Located in South East Iceland, the canyon was featured as the backdrop for Jon Snow’s first dragon flight on “Game of Thrones” and served as the backdrop for Justin Bieber’s music video “I’ll Show You” in 2015.

As a result, the canyon has become one of the country’s most popular destinations.  Over one million visitors have traveled to its edge since Bieber’s video and now that Game of Thrones has ended, officials are expecting more visitors despite the current ban.

Unsplash | @ Agnieszka Mordaunt

Village of Oia in Santorini, Greece 

Mention Santorini and the village of Oia is guaranteed to come to mind.  Located on the northwestern tip of Santorini, the town is known for its iconic whitewashed houses on top of cliffs with the views of the water in its backdrop.

The village is easily one of the most Instagrammable locations in the world, especially at sunset.

But for residents, the number of visitors has reached its limit.

“I never for the life of me imagined there would be traffic jams on this island,” resident Christoforos Asimis, told the Guardian.  “Any sense of moderation has been buried under concrete. There is absolutely no respect for the environment. The Greek state gets a lot out of tourism, but risks losing everything if the island is destroyed.”

Photo via Getty Images

Jardin Majorelle in Marrakech, Morocco

Jardin Majorelle is one of the most visited sites in Morocco. It took French painter Jacques Majorelle forty years to create this enchanting garden in the heart of the “Ochre City,” according to site officials.

Later restored by designer Yves Saint Laurant, the garden’s iconic blue Moorish house has been taken over by tourists.

“It’s a beautiful place, but there’s so much more to Marrakech than this garden,” Chinwe O told Travel Noire.  “You will be surprised by how many people are waiting in line to take a picture.  I highly recommend Le Jardin Secret or El Badii Palace as an alternative.”

Unsplash | @ Veronica Reverse

Rue Crémieux

It’s a beautiful residential neighborhood filled with pastel colors and cobblestone streets in Paris’ 12th arrondissement that has become too much of a night-club, according to residents.

Fed up, locals are giving Paris officials until this summer to figure out a working solution that could involve closing the street down on the weekends and at night, as reported by City Lab.

Take this list and let’s all become better tourists moving forward.

As cities deal with the problems that come with over-tourism, there are some things that you can do to become a better traveler.

Experts recommend starting with respecting the local laws and customs.

In addition, travelers should aim to travel during the off-season and consider destinations that are less frequented.

“Whether it’s Barcelona or Botswana, there are always going to be a lot of people going to the ‘honeypot’ sites that everyone knows about,” Richard Hammond, CEO of Green Traveller, told the Telegraph. “If you do a little research often you can go and visit a similar site elsewhere but have a much better experience because there are far fewer people visiting it.”

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Parker Diakite

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