Joe McClain - Apr 28, 2024
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Since 2024, several regions in Italy have taken measures to address the negative impacts of mass tourism. For instance, in Venice, groups of over 25 people are not allowed, and starting April 25, visitors must purchase a day ticket, but only on specific days.

The "bed stop" policy has been enforced in South Tyrol since 2023. According to Arnold Schuler, the South Tyrolean Provincial Councilor, they have reached their resource limit, experienced traffic issues, and residents need help finding reasonably priced accommodation.

The Cinque Terre, a cluster of five picturesque villages in Liguria, Italy, has seen a surge in tourism in recent years. In 2023 alone, over 2.5 million people visited the villages, even though the area's population is only around 9,000. To control the number of visitors and to distribute tourism more evenly throughout the year, the villages have introduced new measures. However, not all these measures are without controversy.

To manage the influx of tourists, from mid-March, visitors must pay twice as much for train journeys between the five villages on weekends, public holidays, and July and August. In contrast, residents will receive discounts. Additionally, visitors will have to pay an entrance fee for hiking on two coastal paths, with the most expensive fee being 32.50 euros during high season. These measures are expected to significantly impact the cost of visiting the area, potentially affecting the number of visitors and the local economy. 

While some experts believe these measures will help reduce the number of visitors, they may not be effective. Many tourists come from far away, and the increased fees may not deter them. Instead, the costs may burden families already there, making it difficult for them to enjoy the area. Nonetheless, the villages hope these measures will help maintain their natural beauty and preserve their unique way of life.

Lake Como is a picturesque location boasting luxurious villas, verdant gardens, and scenic views of the Alps. It's not surprising that several directors have chosen this elegant location to shoot their movies. Villa del Balbianello, an 18th-century mansion on Lake Como's shores, was one of the shooting locations for the movie Casino Royal.

The city of Como, home to a vibrant population of 85,000 people, can transform into a bustling hub during peak periods, welcoming up to 300,000 visitors in a single day. Last year, the city's popularity soared, attracting 1.4 million visitors. Faced with this high influx of tourists, the mayor of the city is considering imposing a tourist tax as a strong measure against single-day tourists.

The Como mayor shared his struggle, saying, "We are discussing the idea of a tourist tax. Revolutions start with concrete measures, but we are ready. It's a challenging task to be a mayor when you're fighting against tourism." Additionally, private bus companies that organize tours lasting only a few hours could be charged a fee of 50 euros for each arrival.

Capri has recently increased its landing fee for ships. Similarly, a comparable measure has been implemented on the island of Lampedusa, where tourists are now required to pay a fee to enter the renowned "rabbit beach." Italy is faced with the challenge of balancing various factors. While climate change may make southern Europe less appealing, and persistent inflation may divert tourism to more affordable countries, tourism still contributes to 10 percent of southern Europe's gross domestic product.

Travel enthusiasts are convinced that even lesser-known regions, such as Italian agritourism run by local families, can offer an authentic dolce vita experience away from the main season and crowded tourist destinations.

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