ATHENS, Greece — Visits to the Acropolis of Athens, Greece’s hottest archaeological website, shall be capped beginning subsequent month at a most 20,000 day by day and topic to various hourly entry limits, the Greek authorities mentioned Wednesday.
Tradition Minister Lina Mendoni mentioned the controls are wanted to forestall bottlenecks and overcrowding on the UNESCO World Heritage website. As many as 23,000 folks a day have been squeezing into the monument complicated, principally giant teams visiting earlier than midday.
“That is an enormous quantity,” Mendoni mentioned in an interview with the Actual FM radio community. “Clearly tourism is fascinating for the nation, for all of us. However we should work out how extreme tourism will not hurt the monument.”
The brand new entry limits shall be applied on a trial foundation from Sept. 4, and can come completely into impact from April 1 2024, the minister mentioned. There shall be no restrict on how lengthy visits could final, though Mendoni mentioned individuals who include organized excursions or from cruise ships, who account for about 50% of the day by day customer rely, spend a mean 45 minutes on the website.
Completely different numbers of holiday makers shall be allowed in hourly in the course of the website’s 8 a.m.-8 p.m. opening hours. Half of the Acropolis’ foot site visitors presently arrives between 8 a.m. and midday, Mendoni mentioned. Underneath the brand new system, 3,000 folks shall be granted entry from 8-9 a.m., 2,000 in the course of the subsequent hour and the numbers will fluctuate throughout the remainder of the day.
“The measure will deal with the necessity to shield the monument, which is the primary factor for us, in addition to (enhancing) guests’ expertise of the location,” she added.
Comparable caps shall be imposed for different fashionable archaeological websites, Mendoni mentioned. The choice for the Acropolis adopted consultations with tour and cruise operators, and was delayed because of Greece’s June 25 common election, she added.
Greater than 3 million folks visited the location final yr, in line with Greece’s statistical authority.
Greek authorities closed entry to the Acropolis and different historical websites throughout noon hours final month on the top of a warmth wave that additionally brought on big wildfires throughout the nation. Additionally they put in awnings as solar safety for folks lining as much as see the Acropolis’ fifth century B.C. temples. Mendoni mentioned these steps can be repeated, if obligatory.