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    • I love to hike so naturally when I saw this write up of the Blue Trail in Hungary, I had a new place to add to my bucket list.

      🥾

      Despite its lack of soaring peaks (the highest is 3,327-foot Mount Kékes), Hungary is a dream hiking destination thanks to the country’s National Blue Trail. Meandering about 700 miles from Irottko Mountain, on the western border with Austria, to the northeastern village of Hollóháza near Slovakia, the Blue Trail (Kéktúra in Hungarian) is a wonderfully diverse web of paths labeled with white-and-blue-striped waymarkers. 

    • Great list, I've been fortunate to have been to 6 of those destinations.

      For the star gazing option if can't get to the Kalahari another option is

      Pisco Elqui in Chile IMHO is as good if not slightly better than the Kalahari.

      If you are a diver the Maldives are a paradise and so easy, but my personal favourite dive spot is Sipadan Island off Borneo. Unfortunately you can no longer stay on the island like we used to do in the 90's now they only allow travel to the Island by boat, from next year they plan a 1 month closure every year to allow for reef recovery.

      And the cave is now off limits,(turtle tomb)😪

      Great place to see schooling Hammer heads and Barracuda.

    • I think tourism to vulnerable areas should be treated in the same way the state Conservation office handles hunting of deer, geese, etc.: you assess how many visitors can come without causing permanent damage to the environment and require people to pay for a permit, the proceeds of which goes towards the increased site maintenance costs. You can enforce this by requiring the hotels to only rent out rooms to people who present a valid permit.

      I would also put it on the tourism bureaus to set up a Google Alerts so that when their location appears on a top 20 list they can prepare for the influx of tourism.

      I’m not saying this will work everywhere, but @RussP ’s mention of restricted access to Sipadan Island shows, I think, that proactive stewardship is the right approach to take.

    • We have Lord Howe Island off the east coast of Australia which is world heritage listed and they limit the number of guests on the Island at any given time to 300 it's brilliant and should be on any to-do destination list.

      I've mentioned it before but for those that mssed it heres a link.

    • one of many articles out there about mass tourism and how it is ruining places, the population of the world is getting richer. Personally as I live on the road I have seen a massive increase in Chinese and Indian tourists in areas I had never see them before.

      I'm not saying they don't deserve to go to these places like any other person, what the potential issue is that's an additional massive possible number of tourists (millions with new wealth) with potential to go to these areas that maybe can't handle massive numbers.

      Here's a question; did NG or other major writers of these articles consider asking the tourism agencies if they wanted them to write a high profile piece, and if so could the location handle an increase of tourism by 10%, 100%, 500%, 1000%, 10,000%...former locals of Venice would have a good response to that, as would certain areas of Iceland.

      Or were the writers of these articles just looking for a paycheck?

    • Here's a question; did NG or other major writers of these articles consider asking the tourism agencies if they wanted them to write a high profile piece, and if so could the location handle an increase of tourism by 10%, 100%, 500%, 1000%, 10,000%...former locals of Venice would have a good response to that, as would certain areas of Iceland.

      In regards to Venice, that reminds me of the quaint small towns in New England. Skyrocketing real estate taxes forced locals out because New York visitors started buying up homes for summer vacations. I think that’s an inevitable result of capitalism: the fact that you’re family has lived there for generations doesn’t mean that you can keep it forever.

      Places like Barcelona have placed a ban on new short term rental properties, which helps protect the locals from being forced out of their apartments.

      Reykjavik has placed a ban on new hotel construction.

      But to your question, should a location have the right to veto their inclusion in a travel website’s Top 20 Places to See in 2020? Because the 10,000% expected influx is more than the location can handle?

      I don’t have easy answers to that. Is it protected speech? A violation of freedom of the press? How do you enforce a US-based website from promoting a non US-based destination? Should we even be traveling to an international destination when air travel is environmentally destructive and contributes to the Climate Crisis?

      🤔

    • My bucket list is boring compared to others but that's OK with me.

      I have simple things like cleaning out the 30+ years of clutter in my basement and donating the usable item to agencies who will make the things available to people who are in need.

      Then it is time for me - - - My bucket list will keep me in Canada, United States, and Mexico. Hike to the bottom of Grand Canyon (north rim). Drive a support van for a friend who will be riding the full Baja1000 in 2020. Ride my dual sport motorcycle on all the Backcountry Discovery Routes with the exception of the one in the east. Ride my street motorcycle on as much of Route 66 as I can. Ride my street motorcycle following the full route of the 2020 Motorcycle Cannonball. Daytona Beach for motorcycle week is also on the list. A Grand Tour (50 checkpoints) of Texas. To honor the folks that keep the United States what it is I will also be riding the Tour of Honor. A long weekend in Canada on my dirt motorcycle. The main goal is to travel and learn more about the country I call home and a little bit about our neighbors. I also have learning to ride my vintage trials bike on my bucket list.

      There are a number of reasons I don't have a desire to go to far away places. I prefer solitude and don't want to treat people like tourist attractions. I wouldn't like it if someone came into my neighborhood, appearing very well to do, looking at me and taking pics of my home and family. Some beautiful shots are made out of peoples everyday lives in other countries but I wouldn't want to be the focus of shots like these and I often wonder how these people feel about their pics being used for our entertainment.