Fodor's Says 'No' to Missouri

Where not to go in 2018? According to the editors of Fodor's Travel Guide, the list includes Myanmar, Honduras — and Missouri.

"Sometimes you have to say no to the ones you love," the editors write in the intro to their annual "No List." "This planet offers an abundance of majestic vistas and fascinating culture that we recommend you seek out often. But this world is also more than a static viewing point — as travelers, we are witness to the many misfortunes that happen upon it. Travelers must decide how and where we can concern our efforts to observe and preserve the splendor of life around us ...

"Fodor’s No List is a reflection of those considerations: where should we go — or not go — that best reflects our courtesy and concern for this wonderful world. Because sometimes you have to say no to the ones you love in hopes that they can recover, reconsider, or reform. A 'no' in 2018 is resolved with faith for 2019. See you then, hopefully."

Myanmar made the list for the ethnic cleansing that's seen 600,000 members of the Muslim minority Rohingya flee the nation. Honduras got a nod for having one of the world's highest murder rates — and the fact that LGBTQ people are frequent targets.

And Missouri?

Remember S.B. 43, that nasty little piece of legislation seeking to limit racial discrimination lawsuits, which was pushed by a guy being sued for racial discrimination? Supporters said it merely aligned state law with federal standards, but that turned out not to be true — the Show Me State even lost HUD funding now that state laws no longer comply with federal minimums.

That got Fodor's attention, as did the NAACP's recent travel advisory for the state. Both the civil rights group and Fodor's cited the death of Tory Sanders, a Tennessee man who took a wrong turn and ended up dead in a rural Missouri jail cell, despite never being accused of a crime.

As the travel site explains,
The Show-Me State is full of wonders that belong on anyone’s travel bucket list. It’s home to breathtaking limestone caverns, the Budweiser Clydesdales, Kansas City-style BBQ, great jazz, the Silver Dollar City Amusement Park, and even a museum that purports to house the holy finger of John the Baptist.

Unfortunately, Missouri is also the place where SB 43 was passed making it more difficult to sue employers for discrimination, a state representative argued that homosexuals weren’t human beings, a tourist who got lost and ran out of gas was later found murdered in his jail cell without ever being put under arrest, and two men were hunted down and shot on suspicion of being Muslim on the outskirts of Kansas City. And that’s just in 2017.
(Now, it's worth noting that the final incident the site mentions above is a suspected hate crime that actually happened in Kansas — but, hey, the borders are porous; the killer, in fact, was apprehended at an Applebee's in Missouri. And Missouri definitely has to own Rep. Rick Brattin ... alas.)

Other places to steer clear of in 2018, per the editors, are a series of gorgeous spots that have been adversely affected by simply having too many human visitors. Mt. Everest, Thailand's Phang Nga Park and the Great Wall of China all made this year's list. In some ways, we're in very good company indeed; too bad it's for all the very worst reasons.

We welcome tips and feedback. Email the author at [email protected]

About The Author

Sarah Fenske

Sarah Fenske is the executive editor of Euclid Media Group, overseeing publications in eight cities. She is the former host of St. Louis on the Air and was previously editor-in-chief of the RFT and the LA Weekly. She lives in St. Louis.
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