National Geographic’s Worst Asian Beach Destinations

National Geographic’s Worst Asian Beach Destinations

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Goa Calangute Tourism Development

In November 2010 National Geographic published a list of the world’s worst beach destinations.

According to Nat Geo 99 Coastal Destinations were rated: “We asked the panelists to evaluate only the places with which they were familiar, using our customary six criteria, weighted according to importance: environmental and ecological quality; social and cultural integrity; condition of historic buildings and archaeological sites; aesthetic appeal; quality of tourism management; and outlook for the future.

Here’s a summary of the ‘why’ for Asian destinations.

You may, or may not, agree with National Geographic’s choice but you can’t deny a destination that does not give serious attention to destination planning will face uncontrolled development, poor environment management, over crowding and over-commercialization. Something to keep in mind for tourism and destination developers.


Nha Trang, Vietnam

“over-development without a watchful eye”

“fast becoming ruined by rampant commercial development”

“The once nice beaches are packed with hotels and bars. I would not return.”


Goa, India

“With a reputation for sun-and-sand hedonism . . . often attracts visitors uninterested in the Indian region’s natural and cultural heritage.”

“uncontrolled tourism development with no regard for the local culture or environment”

“The hotels could be anywhere in the world, and [they] cater to European charter tourism focused on cheap, all-inclusive resorts.”


Sihanoukville, Cambodia

“has some serious issues to address in terms of sustainability”

“corruption among development decision-makers, poor waste management”

“a low aesthetic of the built environment”

“little local community engagement in sustainable-tourism planning”

“political and military elites have secured most prime beachfront land [and] tourism development has not incorporated traditional Cambodian architectural styles”


Photo: Paul Mannix


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