10 Tourist Activities That People Have Deemed Unsafe and Should Be Shut Down

Tourism is a thriving industry that allows people to explore new places, engage in exciting activities, and create memorable experiences. However, not all tourist activities are safe or ethical. There are certain practices that have come under scrutiny, as people have raised concerns about their potential risks and negative impacts.

1. Elephant Rides

Young tourists are riding on elephants through the jungle/
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The practice of offering elephant rides to tourists has come under heavy scrutiny due to concerns about animal welfare. These majestic creatures are often subjected to cruel training methods and live in inadequate conditions. Organizations such as PETA and World Animal Protection have highlighted the physical and psychological harm inflicted upon elephants for the sake of entertainment. Shutting down elephant rides would be a step toward promoting ethical tourism and protecting these intelligent creatures from further harm.

2. Swim-With-Dolphins Programs

Bottle Nosed Dolphin.
Image Credit: L. S. Lueck/Shutterstock.

While the idea of swimming with dolphins may sound appealing, these programs often involve captive dolphins and raise ethical concerns. Dolphins are highly intelligent and social animals that need ample space to roam and interact with their pod. The confinement and forced interaction with humans in swim-with-dolphins programs can lead to stress, anxiety, and even physical harm to these marine mammals. By discontinuing such programs, we can prioritize the well-being and conservation of dolphins in their natural habitats.

3. Volcano Tours

Lava flow man hiker on night hike watching magma erupting flowing from volcanic eruption in Kilauea volcano, Big Island, Hawaii travel. Long exposure.
Image Credit: Maridav/Shutterstock.

Volcano tours offer adrenaline-pumping experiences for thrill-seekers, but they also pose significant risks. Volcanic eruptions are unpredictable, and tourists may find themselves in harm’s way if an eruption occurs while they are near the volcano. Lava flows, toxic gases, and falling debris are just a few of the dangers associated with volcano tourism. It is crucial to prioritize the safety of both tourists and local communities by discouraging and shutting down these high-risk activities.

4. Shark Cage Diving

Shark Cage Diving.
Image Credit: VisionDive/Shutterstock.


Shark cage diving has gained popularity among adventure enthusiasts, but it is an activity that has raised concerns among marine conservationists. While the industry promotes education and awareness about sharks, there are ethical concerns surrounding the practice. Some argue that baiting sharks to approach the cages disrupts their natural feeding behaviors and can have long-term impacts on their populations. Additionally, the presence of tourists in shark habitats may alter their natural behavior and potentially lead to negative interactions. Shutting down shark cage diving can help safeguard the well-being of these apex predators and preserve marine ecosystems.

5. Extreme Wildlife Encounters

Cute girl hold real crocodile on crocodile farm.
Image Credit: Max Topchii/Shutterstock.

Various forms of extreme wildlife encounters, such as posing with sedated tigers for photos or handling exotic reptiles, have gained notoriety due to their negative impact on animal welfare. These activities often exploit wild animals, subjecting them to stressful environments and compromising their natural behaviors. Furthermore, the risk of injury or disease transmission between humans and wild animals is significant. By shutting down extreme wildlife encounters, we can advocate for the ethical treatment of animals and prevent potential risks to both tourists and wildlife.

6. Tiger Selfies

CHIANG MAI, THAILAND - NOVEMBER 07, 2014: Unidentified people stroking tiger in Tiger Kingdom, Thailand.
Image Credit: saiko3p/Shutterstock.

The practice of taking selfies with tigers has gained popularity in certain tourist destinations, but it comes at a high cost to animal welfare. Tigers used for photo opportunities are often subjected to cruel training methods and live in cramped and unnatural conditions. These activities contribute to the illegal wildlife trade and perpetuate the exploitation of these endangered creatures. Shutting down tiger selfie operations is crucial to protecting the well-being and conservation of these majestic animals.

7. Balcony Leaping

Stock Photo ID: 1426920497Young man jumping off cliff into blue water ocean at sunset.
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In some destinations known for their party scenes, the dangerous trend of balcony leaping has emerged. Reckless tourists jump from high-rise balconies into swimming pools or other bodies of water, putting their lives at risk. This adrenaline-fueled activity has resulted in numerous injuries and even fatalities. Shutting down balcony leaping is necessary to prevent further accidents and to promote responsible behavior among tourists.

8. Snorkeling with Whale Sharks

Boy snorkeling with whale shark.
Image Credit: Max Topchii/Shutterstock.

Swimming with whale sharks is a popular activity in certain locations, but its impact on these gentle giants is a cause for concern. Crowding around the whale sharks, chasing them, or touching them can disrupt their feeding and breeding behaviors. Additionally, the close proximity of snorkelers can introduce stress and potentially harm the whale sharks. By shutting down unregulated snorkeling activities, we can protect the well-being of these magnificent creatures and promote sustainable marine tourism.

9. Overcrowded Hiking Trails

Dolly Sods Bear Rocks trail with parking lot and cars parked in West Virginia fall season and photographer people hiking man with tripod camera and backpack.
Image Credit: Kristi Blokhin/Shutterstock.

Hiking in popular natural areas can be a wonderful way to appreciate nature, but overcrowded trails pose risks to both visitors and the environment. Increased foot traffic can lead to soil erosion, damage to fragile ecosystems, and disturbance to wildlife. Moreover, overcrowding on narrow paths can cause accidents and injuries. To ensure the preservation of natural landscapes and the safety of hikers, it is necessary to regulate access and limit the number of visitors on heavily trafficked trails.

10. Street Animal Performances

Young woman holding Indian cobra in the street of Jaipur, India.
Image Credit: Don Mammoser/Shutterstock.

Street performances involving animals, such as monkeys or snakes, can be found in some tourist destinations, but they often involve exploitation and cruelty. These animals are often forced to perform unnatural behaviors through harsh training methods. The noisy and crowded environments can also cause stress and anxiety for these creatures. Shutting down street animal performances is crucial to protect the welfare of these animals and discourage their exploitation for entertainment purposes.

11. Animal Cafés

Adorable pug dog sitting in his owner's lap in cafe bar.
Image Credit: hedgehog94/Shutterstock.

Animal cafés, where customers can enjoy beverages while interacting with various animals, have gained popularity in many cities. However, concerns have been raised regarding the welfare of the animals involved. The constant handling, noise, and crowded environments can lead to stress and anxiety for the animals. Moreover, some species may not be suited to living in café environments, depriving them of their natural habitats. Shutting down animal cafés is necessary to prioritize animal welfare and discourage the exploitation of wildlife for entertainment purposes.

12. High-Speed Jet Boat Tours

A family on a boat waving as they get ready to leave.
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High-speed jet boat tours offer exhilarating experiences on the water, but they can also pose significant risks. The high speeds and sharp turns of these boats can lead to accidents, collisions, and passengers being thrown off balance. Additionally, the noise and water turbulence caused by these tours can disturb marine life, including dolphins, whales, and other sensitive species. Shutting down high-speed jet boat tours is crucial to ensure the safety of passengers and protect marine ecosystems from unnecessary disruption.

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Woman as a driver eats and drinks during the car ride and is therefore careless and distracted.
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Hipster style bearded man.
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Vintage Street Peasant Boy In Flat Cap Eating Baked Beans From A Can In A Depiction Of The Great Depression
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Jonathan Bailey as Anthony Bridgerton in episode 205 of Bridgerton

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This article was produced and syndicated by A Dime Saved.