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Two North Vancouver attractions ranked among world's most overpriced tourist traps

The Capilano Suspension Bridge and Grouse Mountain have been called out for their expensive entry fees
The Capilano Suspension Bridge brings in millions of visitors every year. | Capilano Suspension Bridge Park

Two North Vancouver attractions have been ranked among bucket list destinations like the Blue Lagoon in Iceland, Disneyland in California and Niagara Falls in a top travel list, but not for the reasons you might think.

A list by USA Today shares places across the world dubbed the biggest tourist traps and overpriced destinations by travellers. Among the top 100 are two local spots: Grouse Mountain has earned itself a mention, while the Capilano Suspension Bridge has topped both lists.

In July the US news site analyzed more than 23 million Google reviews of the 500 most popular tourist attractions in the world, noting how frequently the terms “tourist trap”, “overrated” and “expensive” appear for each.

The search delved into data taken from 65 countries in six continents.

The popular suspension bridge was labelled a “tourist trap” 161 times out of 27,179 reviews, landing it an eighth place spot behind the likes of the Calico Ghost Town in California, as number three, and the Four Corners Monument in Arizona, which bagged first place.

It was also positioned as the second most overpriced attraction worldwide with 1,034 out of 27,179 reviewers, 3.80 per cent, dubbing it “expensive.”

The most overpriced top spot went to Iceland’s geothermal spa The Blue Lagoon, while Elvis Presley’s Graceland and Washington’s Space Needle came in the top 10.

A ticket for the 450-foot wooden bridge costs $66.95, yet that doesn't impede on its popularity with tourists and locals alike.

Since opening to the public in 1889, the bridge continues to pull in more than a million visitors each year. It's seasonal offerings, like the Valentine's themed Love Lights in February, and the Capilano Lights festive spectacle in December, have become intrinsically linked to holiday celebration. For many families, visiting the lights at Christmastime is a beloved annual tradition. 

The same goes for Grouse Mountain, which, with 1.64 percent of reviewers deeming it too expensive, was ranked as the 29th most overpriced attraction in the world, and the 93rd biggest tourist trap.

And yet, while adult admission would set a visitor back $75, most locals who return to the North Shore mountain each year for its skiiing and snowboarding opportunities, wildlife encounters, hiking trails and its Peak of Christmas festive entertainment, are more than happy to front the costs. 

The North Shore hotspots weren’t the only Canadian places to be slammed by sightseers, with Canada’s Wonderland outside of Toronto coming in as the fourth most overpriced attraction, The Calgary Stampede as the seventh, and Niagara Falls’ Skylon Tower as the eleventh.

Mina Kerr-Lazenby is the North Shore News’ Indigenous and civic affairs reporter. This reporting beat is made possible by the Local Journalism Initiative.

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