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Finding ways to avoid the crowds while traveling is increasingly difficult, unless you decide to go to an off-the-beaten-path destination. The number of trips has skyrocketed this year, so if you choose to go somewhere popular, you’re not alone.
Europe is absolutely thriving with tourists, with some countries breaking tourism records.
Croatia has recently had its own set of problems with overtourism, and now Greece is facing the same problem.
Athens, in particular, is home to one of the most popular sites in the country. Travelers come from far and wide by land, sea, and air to see for themselves.
Due to overcrowding, new rules are being implemented in The Acropolis. Here’s what travelers should know before visiting:
What is the Acropolis?
According The Guardian, more than 17,000 tourists visit the Acropolis every day. Is he number one tourist attraction throughout Greece.
What the Statue of Liberty is to the New York City skyline, the Acropolis is to the picturesque cityscape of Athens.
The word « acropolis » loosely translates to « upper city » in Greek, and once you see it, you’ll understand the name.
Located on a large hill overlooking the sprawling capital of Greece is one of the country’s important historical structures that is key to understanding Greek history.
At the top of the hill, visitors will also discover temples, including another famous site, the Parthenon.
However, it is the Acropolis that is a sight to behold and is very well preserved, considering that it dates back 25 centuries. It has withstood the test of time and survived natural disasters, vandalism, and bombings.
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Impressive as it may be, it has really only been open to tourism for about 200 years. So why are new rules being implemented now?
It all started with COVID…
As in many places around the world, there have been extreme closures during the pandemic. But that doesn’t stop a traveler’s desire to see the world.
Just as we all daydream about seeing the famous Eiffel Tower or the Roman Colosseum, it is no different for the Acropolis.
So while we were all locked in with few places to go, the Acropolis obviously didn’t go anywhere either.
Call it « revenge travel » if you will, travelers are spending money like crazy to get out and scratch the travel itch.
In particular, the cruise industry has set sail like never before.
Located south of Athens is the main cruise port of Piraeus. Passengers are disembarking to explore the city. But where are they going?
In a place like Greece, they arrive at the main attraction, which happens to be the Acropolis. Now it is simply a victim of overtourism, when in the past it could handle thousands of visitors without a problem.
It is the influx of visitors that has a trickle-down effect that leaves a bad image. A country like Greece needs tourism to flourish, so it is important that one of its main attractions remains attractive.
If there are extremely long wait times, bad reviews, and negative narratives on TikTok, that’s not a good look.
So what new rules are coming into effect? this summer?
The new rules that will be implemented this summer
Visits to the Acropolis have seen a 80% increase in the summer months compared to 2019, according to Greece’s Minister of Culture Lina Mendoni.
That’s why it’s critical to enforce the new rules as soon as possible to keep tourists safe and happy. It was recently reported that guests were passing out from the extreme summer heat due to the long lines outside.
To alleviate this concern, the lines are expected to be routed through more shaded areas, and water will be provided.
He new rules at the Acropolis to help with over-tourism will be:
- A system of time intervals
- Express lanes designated for organized tours
- electronic ticket
Hopefully these new policies will improve the experience for everyone. A long-term plan is also being developed to rebuild the entrance and make it wider instead of having long lines zigzagging unnecessarily up what is already a steep and uncomfortable climb.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com