Another Popular Italian Destination Limits the Number Of Tourists

Another Popular Italian Destination Limits the Number Of Tourists

In an effort to curb over-tourism, the Italian province of Alto Adige is putting a cap on visitor numbers and prohibiting the establishment of any new hotels until an existing one has closed.

The autonomous region of Alto Adige is located in the northeasternmost part of Italy bordering Switzerland and Austria and one of the best-known gateways to the Dolomite mountains. The region includes Bolzano (or Bozen), the province’s capital city.

Alto Adige is known as an outdoor haven where tourists go on a hike and enjoy the beautiful scenery. In 2022, there were 34 million overnight visitors to the area.

While the district does depend heavily on tourism revenue, authorities feel it simply isn’t worth overtaxing the region’s resources and they are prioritising quality over quantity.

Provincial tourist chief and legislation proponent Arnold Schuler reportedly stated that the area had “reached the limit” of its tourism tolerance. Authorities aim to “guarantee the quality [of life] for locals and tourists,” which has been more challenging over the last decade since the region exceeded the limit of its resources and has a considerable traffic problem.

Over Capacity

Lately, the sheer volume of visitors has become so high as to overwhelm residents and officials.

The law was enacted in September 2022 and there are now just under 230,000 guest beds that have been officially approved to fit within the newly capped number which is the same number as pre-pandemic.

Local authorities have also banned any new traveller accommodations from opening including private home rentals without permission.

Restrictions have also been imposed on day trippers, with a reservation now required to visit key tourist spots including Alto Adige’s glacial lake Lago di Braies  (or Pragser Wildsee).

The Italian authorities are also planning to expand the reservation approach to other high-traffic locations. The region’s new restrictions are set out in a 100-page document called the “Programma provincial per lo sviluppo del turismo 2030+” (PPST 2030) that maps out a course for creating a sustainable tourism sector.

The detrimental impacts of over-tourism in recent years have prompted plenty of popular destinations such as Venice, Amsterdam, and Barcelona to limit tourism and vacation rentals.

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