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Famous TV & movie locations that locals say have been ruined by tourists

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Lights, camera, tourism!  From iconic fictional towns to breathtaking natural landscapes, the allure of famous movie and TV locations is undeniable. However, as enthusiastic tourists flock to these hallowed grounds, some of these once-pristine sites have fallen victim to the perils of popularity. We delved into IMDb filming locations and scoured news articles, to compile this list of beloved spots that have been  marred by the overwhelming number of visitors.

Join us as we delve into the enchanting world of film-induced tourism, uncovering the steps taken to ensure sustainability and protect the authenticity of these beloved places.

‘The Beach’ (2000) – Maya Bay, Thailand

The 2000  ‘The Beach’ transported viewers to a secluded paradise hidden and safeguarded from the prying eyes of the world. Little did anyone know that the real-life location would become the victim of its own on-screen success. The stunning Maya Bay,  a cove on the Thai island of Phi Phi Leh, became a must-visit destination after its appearance in the film starring Leonardo DiCaprio. Unfortunately, the surge in tourism— a horde of 5,000 visitors daily— took a toll on the bay’s delicate ecosystem. Turning the idyllic escape into a nightmare, causing severe damage to the local coral population. To safeguard this picturesque location, Thai authorities closed the beach in 2018 for an extensive restoration project. Today, with strict regulations in place, visitors can once again bask in its natural beauty. The beach reopened its shores to visitors in 2022, but it’s not a free-for-all anymore. Strict regulations and management practices are now in place to protect the bay’s delicate ecosystem, including a daily cap of 300 tourists allowed per round, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. daily.

 ‘Game of Thrones’ (2011-2019) – Dubrovnik, Croatia

Dubrovnik, Croatia

Dubrovnik, Croatia

“Shame! Shame!” echoed through the alleys of “King’s Landing” as Cersei Lannister was dragged half-naked. Similarly, the locals of Dubrovnik, the medieval city in Croatia that served as the filming location for the hit HBO series, have voiced similar sentiments as they bear witness to a massive influx of tourists. As of 2019, the city had had a record of more than a million people visiting in just a few months. In the same year, the authorities proposed a ban on new restaurants, in an effort to manage the overwhelming surge of tourists flocking to this picturesque seaside locale.

Dubrovnik’s mayor, Mato Frankovic, in a 2019 interview with CNN Travel, explained that this law would affect cafés with outdoor seating in the historic Old City section. “They can open inside, but knowing the Old City, it’s very hard to find a place where you can work inside,” Frankovic said. “Ninety-nine percent of restaurants work mainly with outside tables.”

‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ and ‘The Last Jedi.’ (2015, 2017) – Skellig Michael, Ireland

'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' and 'The Last Jedi.' (2015, 2017) - Skellig Michael, Ireland

‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ and ‘The Last Jedi.’ (2015, 2017) – Skellig Michael, Ireland

This remote island off the coast of Ireland became a popular destination after appearing in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and “The Last Jedi.” Skellig Michael’s delicate ecosystem and unique bird species were put at risk by increased tourism.  in In 2018, nearly 17,000 people flocked to Skellig Michael, a figure well exceeding the 11,000-visitor cap proposed by the World Heritage organization. In response, the Irish government introduced stricter visitor limits and guidelines to protect the island’s fragile environment and its UNESCO World Heritage status.

‘Breaking Bad'(2008-2013)-‘ Walter White’s house in Albuquerque,New Mexico, USA

Breaking-Bad Photo Credit: IMDb

Breaking-Bad Photo Credit: IMDb

This iconic house from the TV series ‘Breaking Bad’ attracted fans from around the world to Albuquerque. The filming location for Walter White’s house in became a must-see spot in Albuquerque. Just there is one little detail, that people tend to forget. Actual people are living their actual lifes in that actual house In 2017, the homeowner’s daughter Joanne Quintana told KOB4 News in Albuquerque that the number of visitors to her home was ridiculous and that she lost count of how many people would come to take a photo each week. She also said that tourists would do things like take rocks from her landscaping, get demanding about their photos, and even toss pizzas on the roof just like Walter White did in the now-iconic moment from the show. Quintana said she had a 6-foot-tall wrought-iron fence installed in 2017, but told KOB4 that during construction she still had fans climbing the fence to get their photo.

‘The Joker’ (2019) – ‘A stairwell in the Bronx’, New York, USA

The Joker

The Joker. Photo Credit: IMDb

The infamous stairwell scene in the film ‘The Joker’ put a spotlight on a particular stairwell located in the Bronx. While it gained recognition as a cinematic location, it remains part of the local community.

The stairwell’s rising popularity has led to some inconvenience for the locals who rely on it for their daily commutes. With fans pausing to strike Joker-inspired poses, foot traffic has been momentarily disrupted, causing frustration among the neighborhood.

In response to the growing attention, an anonymous resident put up a poster reminding visitors to be respectful of the neighborhood and its residents. It’s a gentle plea to strike a balance between fandom and consideration for the everyday lives unfolding in this corner of the Bronx.

This article was produced and syndicated by MediaFeed.

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