Last chance tourism: places to see before it’s too late

last chance tourism

The planet is changing, it is dissolving under our eyes due to our terribly impactful and unbridled way of life. That’s why there’s an emerging trend called “last chance tourism” or “tourism of doom“. It involves traveling to places that are in danger and may disappear in a few years. The list is very long, but in our article we will mention seven of them.

Every time I come across this topic (like here and here), “The Little Prince” comes to my mind:

What does “ephemeral” mean?

“Geography texts,” said the geographer, “are the most precious books of all. It is very rare for a mountain to move. It is very rare for an ocean to dry up. We describe eternal facts.
— But even extinct volcanoes can reawaken — interrupted the Little Prince — what does “ephemeral” mean?
“Whether the volcanoes are extinct or active makes no difference to us,” the geographer explained. — What matters to us is the mountain, that does not change.
— But what does “ephemeral” mean? — repeated the Little Prince.
— It means “which is threatened with imminent disappearance.”

Probably when Saint-Exupéry wrote his masterpiece, he did not imagine that even the natural elements destined to last would become “ephemeral”.

What can we do in the tourism sector to travel “hurting” the planet as little as possible?

We can propose ethical and sustainable travels, making travellers aware, making them responsible. It is necessary to promote the conservation of the environment and native cultures, reduce waste, choose local suppliers, promote sustainable mobility. Do not harm either the natural environment or the local population of the place you are travelling. Opt for ecological means of transport once you reach your destination, small restaurants run by locals and artisanal souvenirs.

Going back is not possible, but we can work to preserve the future. In the meantime, however, some wonders of the world are disappearing and may soon no longer exist. So what are the destinations to discover “before they die”?


An archipelago of 1192 islands which, due to rising water levels caused by climate change, may disappear by 2120. Within a century the Maldives will no longer have the conditions necessary to host human life. To avoid that, many resorts are searching for solutions to protect coral reefs and some species such as sea ​​turtles. Travelers shouldn’t pollute the beaches with waste and not to step on, touch or remove coral structures while snorkeling or diving.

Petra – Jordan

Neither the Assyrians, nor the kings of the Medes and Persians, nor yet those of Macedonia were able to enslave them.

This is what Diodorus Siculus wrote about this people. Petra is a World Heritage Site since 1985, and right now the ancient Nabataean capital is crumbling. By 2100 its sandstone tombs and temples may disappear due to mass tourism and climate change.

Taj Mahal – India

According to a very probable hypothesis, it would be destined to close to the public due to the unbridled urbanization of the area. Moreover, intensive tourism is responsible for excessive pollution which is making the white facades of the mausoleum increasingly opaque. The tones of the marble are white that in India represents death, but the stones are set in a way that during the day they change color, from pink to beige.

Dead Sea

Famous for its salinity thanks to which it is possible to float, it owes its name to the inhospitable conditions for aquatic fauna and flora. Its waters contain 340 grams of salt for every liter of water, ten times more than sea water. It risks disappearing by 2150 due to drought and the scarcity of water from the Jordan River, the only one that flows here. Its current regression is about one meter each year.


The desert is as vast as the sky, if you want to be free like a bird, then live in the desert, where there are no borders and no control.

This is the philosophy of the Tuareg, the “blue men”, the warrior people of the desert. They wear the chèche, the long turbans that protect them from the sun, wind and sand and which can reach up to 10 metres. Legend says that Timbuktu, in Mali, was founded by a Tuareg woman looking for water for her dromedaries. From that moment it became a stop for desert caravans. Desertification threatens to bury the city, due to the advance of the Sahara desert.


The fourth largest island in the world, a paradise of biodiversity. It’s the only place on earth where you can meet lemurs in freedom. There are over 100 species, from the microcebus that fits in the palm of your hand to the Indri, famous for its recalls. Its disappearance is linked to poaching, fires and deforestation. If these practices are not stopped, it is expected to disappear within 35 years.


A microcosm of biodiversity in the middle of the Pacific that enchanted Charles Darwin when he landed there on 8 October 1935. Thirteen volcanic islands and numerous endemic species, such as blue-footed boobies, turtles, penguins, just to name a few, and some land and sea iguanas. Curiosity: The latter have the ability to enlarge and shrink their body through the reabsorption of bone tissue, a phenomenon linked to EL NINO. In the years in which it hits the Galapagos, the ocean water can overheat and therefore the quantity of algae that the marine iguana feeds on decreases. In this case it is necessary to reduce its energy needs and consequently its size.

This wonderful universe is endangered by both terrestrial and marine pollution, rising water temperatures and illegal fishing.

Are you ready to travel giving your contribution to discover the world while minimizing your impact?

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