Even though the connotation for the words "tourist traps" is often times significantly less than appealing, many of these places are in fact interesting on a less than mainstream type of way. You will find people nowadays that would rather enjoy quaint, off-road, eccentric places than the most popular tourist spots. Tourist traps, usually, are roadside or tourist attractions that have acquired bad reputations. And this reputation has been steadily drilled into public consciousness by unscrupulous individuals who are after having a quick buck. Their main victims are unsuspecting out-of-town visitors or overseas tourists who would not dare raise issues for concern with upsetting the locals'sensibilities. Nowadays, tourist traps have become synonymous with cheesy out-of-the-way places that offer simply cheaply made trinkets with exorbitant price tags. More often than not, these places are surrounded by small stores offering food, beverage and even a sampler of the neighborhood brew. Interestingly, these small stores make an amazing income from tourists who just need to get from the madness of the place. And yes, all these places have rest rooms - the one consistent element that produces them appealing to passer-bys. Unfortunately, many of them request a certain fee for performing normal bodily functions.
Tourist traps originally started as innocuous roadside attractions. There clearly was a period when long distance traveling on solid ground became all the rage among erstwhile travelers - think for one moment of pre-commercial airlines flight period. These places were (and still is) frequently advertised all throughout main thoroughfares. Huge billboards and even haphazardly staked signs were designed to catch the interest of tourists without planned itineraries.
These "places of interest" were considered as brief interludes to a traveler's journey - except that several of those places had very little to supply, or in a few extreme cases, were outright shams. These places usually charged for entrance fees, but their main majority of income was from selling merchandise promoting the place. Postcards, cheap shirts and even cheaper caps were the norm. However, there had been other unique pieces like rocks harvested from the area, beaded jewelry created by the locals and other unique curiosities that you'd most likely see in another the main country (at a portion of the price.)
Today, tourist traps remain virtually the same. Many of them evolved from previously respectable tourist attractions which became so outdated people wonder why they still exist. Others are places specifically intended to attract more visitors to a certain location; great types of they're establishments with novelty architecture (buildings with unusual shapes like a giant tea cup house or perhaps a large doughnut-shaped bakery); and small town places with one unique product (like the World's Largest Ball of Twine.) Others yet, are legitimate tourist attractions that are overrun by commercialism and unchecked tourist population.
Not all tourist traps are gateways to a prolonged hell, though. There are enough activities in some of these places; enough to ensure that a number of then are dubbed unofficially as "family attraction stops." There might be services offering arcade games, carnival rides, pony rides, thematic restaurants, and even wax museums. However, if you would rather not work the trails of the tourist traps, here are a few suggestions as to how you can differentiate legit tourist attractions and tourist traps - and eventually, prevent them altogether.
There's an excellent line as to what tourist attractions and what tourist traps are. Most legitimate attractions simply succumb to the call of commercialism; or rather, the entrepreneur minded individuals around the location take advantage of the glut of tourists, and inadvertently developing a tourist trap. volcano Batur trekking
One great indication of a tourist trap is the price. If everything appears to be swimming in inflation, from the entrance tickets, to the merchandise and even the food offered in the spot (anything at all that may be rightfully constituted to highway robbery,) then that is probably one heck of a tourist trap. In case a specific location is simply too much for your wallet, then it would be better to try your luck somewhere else. This really is probably one of the finest reasons as to the reasons one should not sign up to the offered packaged tours. Inadvertently, one will include a tourist trap; and since it's a packaged tour, you actually can't bail out of it.