Bruges stops advertising and limits cruises. And in the Cinque Terre?
Cinque Terre - Val di Vara - Just over 3,800 residents and over 3 million visitors each year. The proportion between tourists and the inhabitants of the Cinque Terre is impressive and the problems that have occurred in the opening seasons of the last few years are proof of this. In such a beautiful, small and fragile territory the hordes of thousands and thousands of people are a problem, more than a resource. For a long time there has been much talk of the risks of the proliferation of mass tourism or of the bite and run between Riomaggiore and Monterosso and, as we have written in recent days (read here), this year the first effects of a negative image associated with the Cinque Terre by newspapers of world importance with articles in which it was advised not to visit them, precisely because of the risk of finding themselves among thousands of tourists bottled on the paths and in the alleyways.
Such an eventuality certainly does not please anyone. The memories of the difficulty with which the Cinque Terre rose again, at the tourist level, after the 2011 flood and after the landslide that hit the Via dell'Amore the following year are still fresh. Recovering from damage to its image is increasingly complex and if we add to this that markets such as those in North Africa and the Turkish market have re-emerged this year, the risk of an involution of the sector in the coming years becomes increasingly frightening. First of all, there is a need to structure the promotion and services for tourists at the provincial level, in order to make the sector as less fluctuating as possible, but also to find a solution for managing the flows in the Cinque Terre. Such as? Difficult to say: the table that arose after the problems of the last Easter bridge should decide something on the subject. But while waiting for a proposal, the news made by the mayor of Bruges, Dirk De Fauw, is news from Belgium: stop advertising campaigns and limitations for cruise ship moorings.
The town of Flanders saw 8.3 million visitors arrive in 2018, compared with a population of 19,500 residents. A boom started after the proclamation of Bruges as part of the UNESCO Heritage. Everything was fine at the beginning, but then the town started to be considered as a postcard and finally as a sort of Disneyland.
Enough promotion, therefore, and also the maximum limit of two berths of cruise ships per day (instead of the previous five), encouraging them to arrive on weekdays. And that's not all, since the city had already introduced the ban on opening new hotels and renting houses in the historic center to tourists.
That in all this there is some inspiration that can be taken as a source of inspiration or as a pretext for starting reflection again, without waiting for the next wave of tourists or, worse, realizing that the golden age is already over?
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