There are certain places around the world that are on everybody’s “to-do” list, whether it’s climbing the Eiffel Tower in Paris or visiting Machu Picchu in Peru. (Featured image by TheBoth)
These sorts of places have seen millions of tourists visit over the years, ever since air travel became accessible to us all.
Yet there are some places that are in danger of disappearing before our very eyes, be it as a result of climate change, rising sea levels, or deforestation.
It’s hard to believe, but some of these places may not be around forever. So, you should take the opportunity to visit – responsibly, of course – before it’s too late.
So where are some of the endangered destinations you should visit, or fight to try and save, before it’s too late?
Encompassing 1.5 million hectares in southern Florida, the Everglades is the largest subtropical wetland area in the United States.
The vast network of lakes, rivers and waterways is hugely popular with tourists looking for peaceful trips and excursions, not to mention a vast array of wildlife.
But the Everglades has been getting smaller and smaller for years, as the result of diversion of water to farms, construction and urban development.
If you fancy visiting the Everglades before it’s too late, take an environmentally-friendly tour via canoe or kayak.
Dead Sea, Jordan
The sort of place that every traveller is keen to visit, the Dead Sea in Jordan is a unique phenomenon.
With luxury hotels surrounding it, an unlimited supply of medicinal mud and, of course, the incredibly buoyant water, the Dead Sea is one of the world’s must-visit destinations.
Yet the sea’s source, the Jordan River, is being diverted to provide water for agriculture and industry, meaning it shrinks by almost a metre each year.
Beijing is a city full of landmarks and sites packed with historical and cultural significance, from the Forbidden City to Tiananmen Square.
But just as culturally significant are the city’s labyrinth of hutongs – backstreet alleys and courtyards – that have been part of Beijing since the 13th Century.
The hutongs are disappearing at an alarming rate, as urban development flattens them to make way for skyscrapers and apartment blocks.
Great Barrier Reef
One of Australia’s best-known attractions, the Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest coral system.
Given its size and environmental importance, it would be easy to think the reef is safe from destruction. But this is far from the case.
Recently, the WWF said that the Great Barrier Reef is at risk of appearing on UNESCO’s “danger list” if more isn’t done to protect it from gas and mining.
Çoruh River, Turkey
Situated in north-east Turkey, the Çoruh River is often hailed as one of the best river descents in the world.
But a river development plan currently under way will see more than 11 dams constructed along the river, destroying many opportunities for rafting and kayaking.
Not only will tourism in the area be affected by the hydro-electric dams, but much of the surrounding area will be changed dramatically as a result.