One of Italy’s top tourist destinations will be introducing a cap on the number of visitors in 2016, which will delight locals but also dismay travellers.
According to The Guardian, Italy plans to severely reduce the number of tourists visiting Cinque Terre, five small fishing villages in the country’s northwest Liguria region that are connected by narrow cliffside trails. The destination, a UN World Heritage area, received approximately 2.5 million tourists last year.
Country officials have reported that the rugged coastal area is at risk of being damaged due to coach parties and cruise ships. Residents say that day-trippers from cruise ships docking at nearby ports have overwhelmed their communities. As a result, the head of the Cinque Terre park has said no more than 1.5 million visitors would be let in this year.
“We will certainly be criticized for this, but for us it is a question of survival,” Vittorio Alessandro told la Repubblica newspaper.
The destination plans to outfit inbound roads with devices that gauge the number of people heading to the villages. Once a certain number has been reached, access to the roads will be closed.
Tickets to Cinque Terre will be sold ahead of time online. In addition, an app has been created for visitors to see which of the villages are most congested.