The number of tourists allowed to visit a well-known attraction in a European holiday destination popular among Brits, has been drastically reduced.
Greece plans to limit the amount of people who can visit a historic landmark by setting hourly restrictions.
The Greek government announced on Wednesday that the maximum number of tourists allowed to visit the Acropolis in Athens, which is one of Greece’s most visited archaeological sites, will be limited from next month.
Lina Mendoni said up to 23000 people had been squeezed into the ancient monument. The measures have been put in place by the Culture Minister to stop excessive crowding.
“That’s a huge number,” Mendoni told a local radio network.
“Obviously tourism is desirable for the country, for all of us. But we must work out how excessive tourism won’t harm the monument”.
The minister said that new caps are being implemented as a temporary measure from 4 September and will take effect permanently on April 1 2024.
Mendoni stated that although there are no plans to limit the length of visits, travellers on organised tours make up around 50% of daily visitors and average 45 minutes.
During the 8am-8pm site opening hours, different numbers of visitors are allowed to enter.
But under the new rules, only 3,000 people will have access between 8am-9am. This number is then increased to 2,000 in the next hour.
“The measure will address the need to protect the monument, which is the main thing for us, as well as [improving] visitors’ experience of the site,” Mendoni said.
The Acropolis will face similar restrictions as other archeological sites in the country, after the Acropolis attracted more than three millions tourists last year.
The Greek authorities shut down the building and others similar to it at midday last month because of the intense heat and wildfires.
The World Heritage Site also has verandas to protect tourists from the sun as they wait in line.
Mendoni stated that these steps will be repeated if needed.
This comes after seaside resort chiefs in Spain issued a holiday warning to Brits who could be fined £1,200 for taking a nap on the beach.
As the crackdown against cigarettes intensifies, smoking is now banned on another popular Spanish holiday destination.