Taj, pyramids to be out of mass tourism

London: World heritage sites like the Pyramids, the Taj Mahal and even Venice could soon become the exclusive playgrounds of the rich and famous, a report says.

It says drastic action is needed to protect World Heritage sites or many could be lost within 20 years because they are being crushed under the weight of mass tourism.

The report by experts at the influential Future Laboratory, for Thomson Holidays, says that in time access may be limited to the wealthy, with ordinary tourists having to make do with viewing platforms.

In Britain, National Trust properties may only allow access to visitors who can prove they travelled there by public transport, a daily reported Monday.

Futurologist Ian Pearson said: "We take World Heritage sites for granted today. In the future we won`t be able to go wherever we want.

"There`ll be tourist levies on key locations and only the rich and famous will be able to afford a ticket. You might need to win a lottery for the right to pay a fee to visit places such as the Taj Mahal."