Acropolis Implements Visitor Cap and Timed Entry Slots to Safeguard Heritage Site

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Starting next month, the Acropolis in Greece will enforce a limit of 20,000 daily visitors, along with hourly visitor caps, in response to concerns of "excessive tourism" endangering the UNESCO World Heritage site.

This initiative, set to commence as a trial on September 4th and to become permanent from April 1st, 2024, aims to protect the monument's integrity and enhance the visitor experience. Although no time constraints will be imposed on visits, organized tours and cruise ship passengers, constituting about half of the daily visitors, usually spend approximately 45 minutes exploring the site.

The strategic introduction of hourly restrictions is designed to distribute visitor flow throughout the day. At present, a substantial portion of foot traffic flocks to the Acropolis between 8 am and noon. Under the new system, access will be granted to 3,000 visitors from 8 am to 9 am, followed by 2,000 in the subsequent hour, with varying allocations for the rest of the day.

Moreover, comparable visitor caps are expected to be enforced at other prominent archaeological sites across Greece. The decision for the Acropolis was shaped through consultations with tour and cruise operators, a process that was slightly delayed due to the country's June general election.

Last year, the Acropolis received over 3 million visitors, highlighting the necessity of implementing protective measures and efficiently managing the surge in footfall.

In a proactive move, Greek authorities previously closed Acropolis access during midday hours during a heatwave and set up awnings to shield visitors from the sun's rays.

Ultimately, this proactive strategy underscores Greece's commitment to safeguarding its cherished cultural heritage while ensuring a positive encounter for tourists. The introduction of a daily visitor cap and staggered entry slots represents a substantial stride towards sustainable tourism management at the Acropolis and other archaeological sites across the nation.

More Acropolis and other major sites now have contactless automated VISA ticket machines!

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