ATHENS, Greece — Visits to the Acropolis of Athens, Greece’s hottest archaeological web site, will probably be capped beginning subsequent month at a most 20,000 each day and topic to various hourly entry limits, the Greek authorities stated Wednesday.

Tradition Minister Lina Mendoni stated the controls are wanted to stop bottlenecks and overcrowding on the UNESCO World Heritage web site. As many as 23,000 folks a day have been squeezing into the monument complicated, largely giant teams visiting earlier than midday.

“That is an enormous quantity,” Mendoni stated 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 will probably be applied on a trial foundation from Sept. 4, and can come completely into impact from April 1 2024, the minister stated. There will probably be no restrict on how lengthy visits could final, though Mendoni stated individuals who include organized excursions or from cruise ships, who account for about 50% of the each day customer rely, spend a mean 45 minutes on the web site.

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

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

Related caps will probably be imposed for different widespread archaeological websites, Mendoni stated. The choice for the Acropolis adopted consultations with tour and cruise operators, and was delayed resulting from Greece’s June 25 basic election, she added.

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

Greek authorities closed entry to the Acropolis and different historical websites throughout noon hours final month on the top of a warmth wave that additionally prompted big wildfires throughout the nation. Additionally they put in awnings as solar safety for folks lining as much as see the Acropolis’ fifth century B.C. temples. Mendoni stated these steps can be repeated, if needed.

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