Greece plans hourly caps on vacationers go to to historic Acropolis of Athens

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Visits to the Acropolis of Athens, Greece’s hottest archaeological web site, might be capped beginning subsequent month at a most 20,000 every day and topic to various hourly entry limits, the Greek authorities mentioned Wednesday.

Tourists visit the Acropolis hill with the 2,500-year-old Parthenon temple on the left, and the ancient Erechtheion temple on the right, in Athens, Greece. Culture Minister Lina Mendoni said that visits to the Acropolis of Athens, Greece's most popular archaeological site, will be capped from next month at a maximum 20,000 daily with varying hourly entry limits. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris, File)
Vacationers go to the Acropolis hill with the two,500-year-old Parthenon temple on the left, and the traditional Erechtheion temple on the precise, in Athens, Greece. Tradition Minister Lina Mendoni mentioned that visits to the Acropolis of Athens, Greece’s hottest archaeological web site, might be capped from subsequent month at a most 20,000 every day with various hourly entry limits. (AP Picture/Petros Giannakouris, File)

Tradition Minister Lina Mendoni mentioned the controls are wanted to forestall bottlenecks and overcrowding on the UNESCO World Heritage web site. As many as 23,000 individuals a day have been squeezing into the monument complicated, principally massive 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 might be applied on a trial foundation from Sept. 4, and can come completely into impact from April 1 2024, the minister mentioned. There might 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 every day customer depend, spend a median 45 minutes on the web site.

Totally different numbers of tourists might be allowed in hourly throughout the web site’s 8 a.m.-8 p.m. opening hours. Half of the Acropolis’ foot visitors presently arrives between 8 a.m. and midday, Mendoni mentioned. Underneath the brand new system, 3,000 individuals might be granted entry from 8-9 a.m., 2,000 throughout the subsequent hour and the numbers will differ throughout the remainder of the day.

“The measure will tackle the necessity to shield the monument, which is the principle factor for us, in addition to (bettering) guests’ expertise of the positioning,” she added.

Comparable caps might be imposed for different widespread archaeological websites, Mendoni mentioned. The choice for the Acropolis adopted consultations with tour and cruise operators, and was delayed attributable to Greece’s June 25 basic election, she added.

Greater than 3 million individuals visited the positioning final yr, in line with Greece’s statistical authority.

Greek authorities closed entry to the Acropolis and different historic websites throughout noon hours final month on the top of a warmth wave that additionally brought about large wildfires throughout the nation. In addition they put in awnings as solar safety for individuals lining as much as see the Acropolis’ fifth century B.C. temples. Mendoni mentioned these steps could be repeated, if crucial.

This story has been revealed from a wire company feed with out modifications to the textual content. Solely the headline has been modified.

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