Local officials push back on Tahoe’s inclusion on travel company’s ‘No List’ in 2023 | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Local officials push back on Tahoe’s inclusion on travel company’s ‘No List’ in 2023

Sand Harbor State Park
Bill Rozak / Tahoe Daily Tribune

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — Local officials have pushed back on Lake Tahoe being placed on a longtime tourist/travel company’s list of places not to visit in 2023.

Fodor’s Travel, a company that publishes guidebooks and a yearly list of places to visit, or not, recently recommended tourists bypass Lake Tahoe next year due to a “people problem,” — crowded beaches and trails and traffic that slows to a crawl that is also threatening the lake’s famous clarity.

“For this year’s No List, we’re highlighting destinations to reconsider visiting in 2023 in three main categories: natural attractions that could use a break in order to heal and rejuvenate; cultural hotspots that are plagued with overcrowding and resource depletion; and locations around the world immediately and dramatically impacted by water crises,” said Fodor’s Travel website. “This year’s No List does not serve as a boycott, ban, or cancellation of any sort; but a call to travelers to consider wisely the choices we make. We can have a positive impact on this world we love so dearly.”

Fodor’s website said the “people problem” causes heavy traffic on roads and trails that lead to a fine sediment pollution running off the urban landscape and crushes Tahoe’s roads into a fine dust and debris and pumps tailpipe emissions into the air.

When it rains or snow melts, stormwater transports these fine pollution particles into the lake, clouding its cobalt blue waters, the website said.

“It is difficult to take our city’s talk about leadership on the problem of long-term climate change seriously when we simultaneously encourage visitor traffic that results in jams that can stretch into Sacramento,” Scott Robbins, a spokesman for the Tahoe Neighborhood Group and new member of the South Lake Tahoe City Council who garnered the most votes in the race for three seats in the November Election, said to Fodor’s Travel.

South Lake Tahoe Mayor Devin Middlebrook pushed back on the “No List” designation during the council’s Tuesday, Nov. 15, meeting. 

“I do take issue with the Fodor’s list. I think they left out a lot of the things we are doing,” he said. “They didn’t talk about us working to expand Clean Tahoe, they didn’t talk about all of our new really cool solar composting trash cans, they didn’t talk about our ranger programs, they didn’t talk about our Take Care Program, Lake Link. They just talked about all the challenges and bad things but they didn’t mention any of the myriad of programs that our team has done to address the things that are in the article.”

Carol Chaplin, president and CEO of the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority said the agency is constantly looking for balance to help protect Tahoe’s natural beauty and resources along with economic concerns.

“Tourism represents more than 60% of the destination’s livelihood,” Chaplin said. “It’s a partnership between visitors, tourism, environmental organizations, locals and the business community to all recognize and treat the area and community with respect so Tahoe’s beauty is preserved for generations. Part of that effort is the Lake Tahoe Destination Stewardship Plan to help promote shoulder seasons and mid-week stays, utilizing local transportation options, and visitor education programs encouraging responsible visitation.”

President and CEO of Travel North Tahoe Nevada Andy Chapman said teaching visitors to respect the region is key.

“We’re feeling the increase of population around us,” Chapman told Fodor’s Travel. “We all need to give nature a break, but we don’t want to tell people not to come to Tahoe. We want to educate people how to respect Tahoe.”

Travelandleisure.com meanwhile has included South lake Tahoe among the best mountain towns to visit. https://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/best-mountain-towns.

Read the full Fodor’s Tracvel post at https://www.fodors.com/news/news/fodors-no-list-2023.

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