These French destinations are to be absolutely avoided this summer

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These French destinations are absolutely to be avoided this summer - crowded beaches and monster traffic jams on the program

An American guide has placed two French destinations at the top of the list in its selection of tourist places in the world to avoid at all costs in 2023. And the reason is not what we think.

The website of the American travel guide Fodor’s Travel publishes its list of destinations to avoid in the world every year. This year 2023, the Fodor’s No List placed in the viewfinder the French sites ofEtretat in Normandy and Calanques National Park in the Bouches-du-Rhône. If the tourist guide selects its destinations where you should no longer go on vacation according to three specific categories, it is that of “natural attractions which could benefit from a break to recharge your batteries” which took precedence for these, ahead of “cultural hotspots which are plagued by overpopulation and the depletion of resources” and “places around the world dramatically affected by water crises”. Explanations:

The limestone cliffs of Étretat hard hit by an influx of visitors

Did you know that the Normandy coast is a victim of the erosion of its coastline not only because of climate change, but above all because of overtourism? While major storms are increasingly ravaging its beaches each year, the wastewater treatment facility in the city of Étretat, which welcomes 3 million visitors each year, had to close last year for maintenance, because it could not accommodate three times as many visitors as its regular population.

Of greater concern, frequent landslides are caused by too much foot traffic, reports the site Fodor’s Travel. “We need tourism, but we have to find a balance. The tourists themselves would benefit more from it. Many of them leave angry after spending several hours in their car without finding a parking space, a place to eat or toilets, due to a lack of sufficient infrastructure. This mass tourism does not satisfy anyone,” said Jean-Baptiste Renié, a municipal councilor in Étretat.

The Calanques National Park victim of soil erosion

Same scenario for the Calanques of Marseille, victims of their popularity: the erosion which is eating away at the site has led the national park to set up a reservation system to visit its beaches in the summer, with a daily quota of 400 visitors per day, since the year 2022.

Other targeted tourist places

Finally, Fodor’s Travel aims to sound the alarm on unique tourist places that are now weakened by mass tourism, as is the case, in its selection abroad, of Venice and the Amalfi Coast in Italy, or the Cornwall region in the southwest of England, Thailand or the city of Amsterdam in the Netherlands.

“In a world of theme parks, Instagram-listed restaurants and pop-up museums, it’s easy to forget that most of the world’s top attractions were created by nature and are still alive. Many of these natural sites have been damaged, either by recent natural disasters or by an influx of visitors,” says the American travel guide publisher. “Some iconic landmarks have been so badly damaged that tourist boards and elected officials have asked travelers not to visit them while the land, air and sea recover. These natural destinations are in desperate need of a break from visitors,” concludes Fodor’s Travel.

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