Thursday, 24 March 2016

Iconic Italian destination acts curb visitor numbers

A TICKETING system for a stretch of coastline in #Liguria, #Italy, is to be introduced this summer to limit the number of tourists walking the Cinque Terre trail.

There are plans to severely reduce the number of tourists visiting the #CinqueTerre UN world heritage area because the rugged coastal area risks being wrecked by coach parties and cruise ships.

Approximately 2.5 million tourists poured into the picturesque park in north-west Italy's Liguria region last year to visit the five small fishing villages, which are connected by narrow cliffside trails. Residents say day-trippers from cruise ships docking at nearby ports have overwhelmed their communities and the head of the Cinque Terre park said no more than 1.5 million visitors would be admitted this year.

‘We will certainly be criticized for this, but for us it is a question of survival,’ says Vittorio Alessandro, president of the Ente Parco Nazionale delle Cinque Terre.

Roads leading to the area are being fitted with devices to gauge the number of people heading to the villages and once a certain number has been reached, access will be closed.

Accessed by steep, winding roads, the Cinque Terre was once a remote backwater. But tourist numbers have risen sharply in recent years partly as a result of cruise companies adding more Italian destinations to their itineraries as other Mediterranean ports, such as Tunisia, lost their appeal following terrorist attacks.

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