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Tourist Flows in the Cinque Terre

For years we have heard of Tourist Flows in the Cinque Terre as a problem of public order or economic opportunity. However, other issues such as the hydrogeological instability and self-financing cannot be avoided.
We talk about the flows, in the plural, even if in the everyday discussion the problem seems to be almost, or only, the Cruises. The numbers, however, tell us that out of about 3,500,000 annual tourists (source: Cinque Terre Natioanl Park) there are about 300,000 cruise passengers, less than 10% (source: Autorità di gestione degli sbarchi). The other groups have different origin: it is estimated that the European and non-European Tour Operators operating in the area are at least 500 and they travel by train or by road to reach the Cinque Terre. The numbers from the “Battelieri” indicate about 450,000 passengers a year, so it is easy to understand how, even today, non-brokered individual tourism represents the majority of tourist flows to the Cinque Terre.
Certainly, a complicated puzzle and for this reason the simplifications of those who see in a single actor the cause of crowding that sometimes oppresses railway stations and villages are at least useless, if not harmful.
But it is also true that if we want to strengthen the local tourist economy we cannot avoid thinking about the hydrogeological instability that for years has led to the closure of paths with negative effects on common areas in the villages. And here we must talk about the self-financing of the territory. Let’s talk about the Park and the Mayors who represent its soul and pillar. The Park, reading the social report and the report of the “Corte dei Conti”, turns out like the best Park of Italy with gradual but continuous increase also of the investments on the territory.
But, not a small problem, we are far from the desired level. The Cinque Terre Card is sold in around 1,000,000 copies out of 3,500,000 visitors, too few. We are talking about the € 16.00 train version which, however, allocates € 10.00 to Trenitalia and the rest, net of 22% VAT, can be allocated to the Territory. Instead the Cinque Terre Sentieri Card for € 7.50 has a contraction in sales and the repeated closures of various sections of the Sentiero Azzurro lead to worsening assessments by guests.

Trying to close the discussion + SELF-FINANCING + INTERVENTIONS ON HYDROGEOLOGICAL DAMAGE with consequent influence on the Tourist Flows in the Cinque Terre, I believe that we should reform the Cinque Terre Charter with the aim of reaching a greater number of guests, increasing the level of satisfaction: making it mandatory but with variable prices depending on the services used and the days spent in the area.

Finally, to influence the tourist flows there is the question of collaboration with neighboring territories, but we will talk about it later, in another post.

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