Numerous destinations around the world that rely on tourism fall into conflict. War and social-political tensions are becoming part of everyday life.
Some of the world’s most popular sites of historic heritage and biodiversity are at greatest risk of conflict and violence.
1. Palmyra, Syria
Palmira, a once important city in the Roman Empire, now in central Syria, is in ruins.
Before the Syrian civil war broke out, it was one of the most popular historical sites in the country, but in 2015 Idil conquered the city. In an act that stunned the world, the terrorist group began systematically destroying the ancient site in 2015 and equalizing it with the earth.
Although IDIL lost control over Palmyra briefly, she regained the city in 2016 and destroyed part of the amphitheater in January 2017. By March, the Syrian army successfully captured Palmyra from the Islamist group and managed to keep what remained of it for future generations.
2. The Great Al-Nuri Mosque in Mosul, Iraq
Al-Nuri mosque in Mosul was built in 1172 and has since been an important cultural and religious symbol for the people of the city. In more recent times, it has become one of the city’s key tourist sites.
The mosque, along with the rest of Mosul, also fell under IDIL’s control when the group invaded parts of Syria and Iraq in 2014. The new Caliph, IDI leader Abu Bakr al-Bagdadi, was announced there.
But after Iraqi security forces began fighting the city to expel the terrorist group, it demolished the mosque and its famous minaret in one of its last actions in Mosul. IDAL lost the battle for the city, but deprived him of one of his most important landmarks.
3. The Old City and the Castle in Taiz, Yemen
The ancient city of Taiz may not be a well-known tourist destination for Westerners but is one of several historic sites in Yemen, destroyed or destroyed during the civil war that began in 2015.
The city and its castle were subjected to a heavy fire by Saudi forces that were targeted at Shiite forces nearby. Some of the structures even precede Islam in the area. Today, the city remains today on the front line of the brutal and ongoing conflict.
4. Cancun, Mexico
Cancun, one of Mexico’s largest resort destinations, has been able to isolate itself from the ongoing drug regime between the Mexican army, the police and the powerful drug cartels.
But his decline seemed to have come in 2017 when 95 killings were made in the coastal area around Cancun for the first half of the year.
In January 2017, assailants killed five people in a nightclub and then attacked state buildings. A second incident happened five miles from the main hotel part of the city. Another cartel shootout took place in central Cancun in June, worrying tourists and city officials.
Although the Cancun Tourist Infrastructure remains safe and so far isolated incidents have been reported, it is clear that the tourist center is not immune to Mexico’s drug trafficking.
5. Virunga National Park, Democratic Republic of Congo
The oldest national park in Africa, Virunga National Park, is known for its gorillas, volcanoes and in recent years – with violence.
Following the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, refugees, poachers and various armed rebel groups have been present in the park for years. The warriors have also killed many endangered mountain gorillas.
In August 2017, Maya rebels killed three rangers in the park, directing the world’s attention to the need to protect the rangers and wildlife.
6. Mindanao, Philippines
Mindanao, the southernmost large island of the Philippines, offers many tourist attractions including wild areas, waterfalls and picturesque islands. The Philippine government tried to make the island a hot tourist destination, but these plans were ruined when Maute rebels, a military group that declared IDI loyalty, took control of the city of Marawai on the island in May 2017. This made Philippine President Rodrigo Doherte declare a state of war on the island, and the state army besieged the city for five months.
Despite the danger to tourists caused by these events, the Philippine government remains committed to its promise to develop tourism on the island.