Italy plans to cut back on the number of visitors allowed into Cinque Terre, a particularly picturesque section of its north-western coast. Around 2.5m tourists visited the area in 2015; this year, numbers will be limited to 1.5m. Such a drastic move raises questions about the impacts and benefits of mass tourism – and particularly cruise ships.
This region of the Italian Riviera, characterised by its charming seaside villages set against rugged terrain, was once difficult to access and off the beaten path of mass tourism. Cruises helped change all that.
These ships began docking in the nearby port of La Spezia just a couple of decades ago, and several now arrive every week. This brought immediate economic benefits to the region. However, as the numbers of tourists have grown each year, the strain on local infrastructures has become too much to bear. Last year, nearly 650,000 of those Cinque Terre tourists came from cruise ships.
Read the full article: Time to rock the boat? Cruise ships can destroy the very destinations they sell to us