The travel publication outlined 10 regions ranging from Antarctica to Italy that are threatened by environmental damage caused by overtourism and climate change. The list split those places into three categories: “natural attractions that could use a break in order to heal and rejuvenate; cultural hotspots that are plagued with overcrowding and resource depletion; and locations around the world immediately and dramatically impacted by water crises.”
Maui was highlighted in the latter category, along with the Southern European Watershed and the American West, as destinations “suffering from water crises.”
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The publication noted how last year, the debate over water restrictions on Maui hit a boiling point when only Upcountry residents were ordered to conserve water – or face $500 fines if they used water for “non-essential” purposes like irrigation and washing cars. At the same time, “no such limitations were placed on resorts in South and Central Maui, many of which boast pools, sprawling lawns, and golf courses,” the article said.
The publication continued to say that Native Hawaiians are also “paying the price for the growing tourism industry” in other aspects of daily life. The cost of living has risen along with the boom in short-term rentals, the publication wrote, which is fueling more people to experience homelessness.
“This year’s No List does not serve as a boycott, ban, or cancelation of any sort; but a call to travelers to consider wisely the choices we make,” the article read. “We can have a positive impact on this world we love so dearly.”
This story was published in partnership with Honolulu Civil Beat, a nonprofit newsroom doing investigative and watchdog journalism relating to the state of Hawaii.
Civil Beat’s coverage of Maui County is supported in part by grants from the Nuestro Futuro Foundation and the Fred Baldwin Memorial Foundation.
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