NEWS » Cinque Terre to limit tourism
Cinque Terre to limit tourism
The Cinque Terre, "The Five Lands" are one of the top worldwide tourist destinations, comprised of five villages: Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore. The coastline, the five villages, and the surrounding hillsides are all part of the Cinque Terre National Park, UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The booming tourist trade has had a great impact on the picturesque coastal towns which have become overcrowded and overwhelmed with tourists. The effect on the scenic Ligurian site is deleterious. About 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. This beautiful coastal area risks being destroyed by coach parties and cruise ships from which disembark around 650,000 visitors a year, causing unmanageable peaks in numbers at certain times. The great number of visitors are causing damage to centuries-old footpaths that connect the villages along the rugged coastline.
For this reason plans to severely reduce the number of tourists visiting the Cinque Terre might be introduced this summer. The head of the Cinque Terre park said no more than 1.5 million visitors would be admitted this year.
Italy's government has proposed a plan to reduce the number of tourists by at least a million visitors in the years to come through a new ticketing system. Visitors will soon have to purchase tickets to visit the historic towns in advance and it won't be possible to enter them once the set limit has been reached.
Tourist officials are developing an app for tourists that will reveal which villages are over-crowded to hopefully direct visitors to less crowded localities.
According to the president of the Liguria region, Giovanni Toti more investments from the state and the private sector are necessary to keep the cinque terre as a world's attraction. Limiting the number of tourists is a contradiction for a tourism based economy such as the Italian one.
While the decision of limiting the number of tourists in the cinque terre is debated, the marine protected area of Portofino has prepared a study called “project load capacity” which will be used to monitor attendance and evaluate the capacity of the endurance of the territory. A handbook will then be created, in order to advice visitors to respect the territory and behave correctly during their stay.