Tourist hotspot Cinque Terre is cutting down its visitors this summer. With 2.5 million tourists going to the small Italian town annually, the local government is planning to impose a ticket system for only 1.5 million guests per year, Conde Nast Traveler reported.
Cinque Terre is a portion of a coastal town in the Italian Riviera, and it's famous for its pastel-painted houses. Surrounded by five villages and a national park, travelers were intrigued by the site 15 years ago following a photo feature on a magazine spread, according to The Telegraph.
Since then, people from cruise trips and day-trippers have been flocking to Cinque Terre between April to October. However, the village is small, and there are only a few bars, restaurants and hotels. Every year, the establishments and beaches are packed, the narrow streets are filled with tour buses, and the residents are overwhelmed. As a result, the local government is imposing a tourist cap to protect its area.
"We installed a pedometer on the trails in order to calculate the maximum load," Cinque Terre Park president Vittorio Alessandro said, according to Mashable. "By the summer we will have all the data to establish the number of people that can access each path per day."
Tourists will then be asked to purchase online tickets to Cinque Terre in advance, and an app will be made available to show which of the five villages are congested during certain periods.
"We will certainly be criticized for this, but for us it is a question of survival," said Alessandro.
Cinque Terre is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage site.