12 Once Popular Travel Destinations That Barely Anyone Goes To

The world of travel is ever-changing, with destinations rising and falling in popularity. Some places that once buzzed with tourists are now barely visited, often due to various reasons ranging from environmental concerns to political shifts. Here’s a look at 12 such destinations, once popular, that now see significantly fewer visitors.

1. The Dead Sea, Israel/Jordan

Once a major draw for its unique floating experience and mineral-rich mud, the Dead Sea has been facing ecological challenges. The water level is dropping at an alarming rate, causing sinkholes and reducing the once-thriving tourist areas to ghost towns.

2. Acapulco, Mexico

In the 1950s and 60s, Acapulco was a glamorous getaway for the rich and famous. However, in recent years, it has seen a decline in tourism due to safety concerns stemming from crime and drug-related violence.

3. The Great Barrier Reef, Australia

One of the world’s most spectacular natural wonders, the Great Barrier Reef, has suffered significant coral bleaching due to climate change. While it still attracts visitors, the numbers have dwindled as the health of the reef has deteriorated.

4. Cairo, Egypt

Cairo was once a bustling tourist hub, famous for the Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx. However, political instability and safety concerns in recent years have seen a significant drop in tourism.

5. Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA

Known for its casinos and boardwalk, Atlantic City has faced economic challenges and competition from other gambling destinations like Las Vegas and Macau, leading to a decline in tourism.

6. Venezuela

With its stunning landscapes, including Angel Falls, Venezuela was once a popular tourist destination. However, political turmoil and economic crises have led to a dramatic decrease in tourism.

7. Mykonos, Greece

While still somewhat popular, Mykonos has seen a decline in visitors due to its reputation for being overly touristy and expensive, driving travelers to seek more authentic and affordable Greek islands.

8. Bali, Indonesia

Bali’s popularity soared with travelers seeking spiritual retreats and beautiful beaches. However, concerns over overtourism and environmental degradation have led to a push for more sustainable travel, with some tourists choosing less crowded destinations.

9. Petra, Jordan

The ancient city of Petra is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was once a must-visit destination. Recent instability in the Middle East, however, has impacted tourism numbers.

10. Timbuktu, Mali

Timbuktu, with its rich history and significant cultural sites, has faced challenges due to political instability and security issues in the region, leading to a decline in tourism.

11. Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

The Galapagos Islands are known for their unique wildlife and ecosystems. However, the Ecuadorian government has had to limit tourism to protect these fragile environments, leading to fewer visitors.

12. Niagara Falls, USA/Canada

While still attracting visitors, Niagara Falls has seen a decline in popularity due to the commercialization of the area and the rise of other natural sites that offer a more untouched experience.

The Reasons Behind Declining Popularity

  • Environmental Concerns: Destinations suffering from pollution, climate change, or overtourism are seeing a decline as travelers become more environmentally conscious.
  • Safety and Political Instability: Regions facing political unrest or safety issues tend to experience a drop in tourism.
  • Economic Factors: Economic challenges can impact the quality and appeal of a tourist destination.
  • Overcommercialization: Places that become overly commercialized often lose their original charm, leading to a decrease in their appeal.
  • Changing Travel Trends: As travel trends evolve, some destinations may lose favor to emerging hotspots that offer new experiences or better value.


Travel trends are dynamic, and destinations that were once the highlights of tourism can fade from the limelight. These 12 destinations serve as a reminder of the ever-changing nature of travel and the importance of sustainable tourism practices.

While they may not be as crowded as they once were, many of these places still hold significant cultural and natural value, offering unique experiences for the discerning traveler looking for less-trodden paths.

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