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Cinque Terre Park: the new rules for tourists

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Cinque Terre Park: the new rules for tourists

During 2023, the Cinque Terre National Park commissioned the MIC HUB company to carry out a preliminary study on mobility and accessibility to the Park. MIC HUB is an international company made up of engineers, architects, designers and consultants, which operates on every aspect of mobility and transport.
This study, presented to stakeholders and institutions at the beginning of 2024, outlined a structured cognitive framework, hypothesizing design solutions – for peak days – to mitigate the tourism impact already from the current season.

Extraordinary measures on “red flag” days

The “red dot” days coincide with public holidays for which the Park will activate a series of extraordinary measures, strengthening coordination with staff, volunteers and information and security control officers and carefully monitoring the threshold beyond which the Anthropic pressure can represent a threat: for biodiversity, for the heritage of dry stone works (the Verde Azzurro path runs in many sections on centuries-old terraces) and for the safety of the visitors themselves. Visitors to whom the Park aims to ensure a pleasant experience of immersion in the landscape, at the pace of the walk, without waiting in queues on the path.

Safety and protection of the natural and landscape heritage

Safety, alongside the protection of the naturalistic and landscape heritage of the Cinque Terre, remains the primary objective of the Park Authority and is also guaranteed by checks on suitable clothing and footwear at the entrance gates of the Verde Azzurro path. Often during long weekends and holidays the Verde Azzurro path becomes a destination for inexperienced walkers, unprepared to tackle what to all intents and purposes presents the characteristics of a mountain route.

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Trekking and walking lovers visiting the protected area can choose from dozens of free-access paths for a total of 130 km, with different levels of difficulty and points of interest: a real gateway to the mosaic of beauties of the protected area, to be tackled with awareness of one’s abilities, adequate clothing and respect for the habitats and work of the farmers.

Cinque Terre Park: the new rules for tourists

Below are some management measures that arise from this study as tools for managing sustainable tourism on peak days.

> Based on the pressure forecasts on the busiest days, in particular on the SVA Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia path, the “one-way” will be reintroduced by time slots.

> Improvement with extraordinary maintenance interventions of the infrastructure of the trail network: there are 18 park maintainers regularly registered in the Professional Register and involved in continuous training. It is their task to intervene on the trail network of over 130 km. Added to this is the integrated contract for extraordinary interventions on the same hiking network

> Information totems – people counter: digital totems will be placed at the main entrances of the paths with real-time information or any warning messages. The totems will operate in network with the people counters.

> Review of trekking card rate: only on days when a peak tourist flow is expected (only 16 days a year according to the MIC HUB study) will the rate of Trekking cards be revised to encourage the use of the trail network on other days of low turnout.

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> Integrated Park Card rate reduction for CTES certified operators (with European Charter for Sustainable Tourism): all operators and accommodation facilities already certified with CETS will benefit from discounts on train fares (Trenitalia’s 5 Terre Express route). To date there are 160 certified accommodation facilities in the Park area.

> CETS certification extension development: further tour operators are now involved in the CETS certification process in order to pursue a common vision of sustainable tourism in the Park area.

> New Wayfinding of the Park: the overall project relating to the road system connecting the Cinque Terre Park has been launched. This involves the design and placement of the new signs for the orientation of Park users. The objective is to have a new unitary reference signage, aimed at easy and immediate reading of the information, developed starting from the analyzes and investigations carried out, aimed not only at representing the condition of the existing signs, but above all at knowledge of the territory .

Actions to contain and control flows on the Park’s paths

Two-year Digital Plan* (2024 – 2025) of the Park: the main objectives of this plan are to digitize some vital procedures for the effective management of the Park and its correct use as well as integrate the data to build a unified vision, which makes management more effective of flows and improve the quality and timeliness of information. The Digital Plan will include a Mobility Portal which will collect all the useful information on the one hand for the visitor to better plan their experience at the Park and on the other for the Park itself, to carry out any interventions regarding mobility. Furthermore, an integrated Dashboard will be created, i.e. an App that will allow the user to have real-time information on Mobility, Climate, Natural Heritage, Hydrogeological Risk Areas. The same will allow the Park to have data available to monitor progress and intervene promptly when necessary.

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“The actions to contain and control flows on the Park’s paths arise from the dual need to guarantee protection of the ecological heritage and safety of guests – Declares the President, Donatella Bianchi – Among these actions is in particular the increase in the Cinque Terre Trekking Card for access to the SVA Monterosso Corniglia Vernazza trail on the 16 peak days. It is an extraordinary measure which concerns the need to protect the territory and consequently also the visit experience of the walker, who is often disappointed in his expectations precisely because of the crowds. This measure responds to a need of the Park to protect visiting tourists who, we are sure, will be more involved in respecting that fragility intrinsic to the uniqueness and beauty of the Cinque Terre.”

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