ROSWELL, N.M. (KRQE) – As peak tourist season winds down, you might have taken a trip to a spot you didn’t want to leave. You might also have gone to a “tourist trap” you’ll never want to return to. A study by USA Today ranked the top 100 such traps from around the world and some New Mexico locations made the list, unfortunately.
USA Today looked at 23.2 million Google reviews in July 2023 of the 500 most popular tourist attractions and looked for keywords like “tourist trap,” “overrated,” or “expensive.” They then measured the relative frequency of the words and divided the number of mentions in each case by the total number of reviews for the attraction.
With 10,839 reviews and 139 mentions of the words “tourist trap,” the Four Corners Monument at the borders of Arizona, Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico is the number one tourist trap in the world. User Rachael Thatcher gave the spot a three-star rating saying, “I went to visit five years ago and it was $5 per car. This time, it’s $8 per person and they have done absolutely nothing to improve this place.”
Coming in as the fifth biggest tourist trap in the world is Roswell’s International UFO Museum and Research Center. Of 2,057 reviews, 14 referred to it as a “tourist trap.” Many reviews noted that what the museum offers was not worth the price of admission. “Blocks of text on walls which you can read on Wikipedia…There are some displays and some art but def [sic] not worth the $7 charged,” wrote Keke Smith in their one-star review.
Many reviews noted the museum not having much to keep young kids’ attention during the visit. “Waste of money. I have younger kids. They walked right through and wanted to leave. Boring,” said Alicia G. in her one-star review.
Other spots in the U.S. that made the top five in the list were the Salem Witch Museum, Calico Ghost Town in California, and the Crazy Horse Memorial in South Dakota.