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laughing husky

Brugge.....One more city with new rules for tourists...aimed at cruise passengers

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The Belgian destination will impose new regulations to control the influx of day visitors and cruise ships.

 
 
 
 
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This month, the Belgian city of Bruges joined a number of popular European destinations, including Venice and Amsterdam, in implementing new regulations to help curb the impacts of overtourism.

Bruges mayor Dirk De fauw announced in early June that he will back stricter measures designed to control the influx of short-term visitors to Bruges, according to the Flemish newspaper Het Nieuwsblad. De fauw, who was elected in 2018, warned that the popular Flemish destination is at risk of becoming “a complete Disneyland.”

As part of the newly implemented measures, a cap has been introduced for cruise ships docked in the city’s port, reducing the number from five to two at a time. The city will also ask cruise ship companies to dock during weekdays instead of over the weekend to control overcrowding in the picturesque medieval city. Additionally, the tourism board will revoke advertising campaigns for Bruges in nearby destinations such as Brussels and Paris to help decrease the number of day-trippers.

Last year, a record 8.3 million tourists visited Bruges, according to a report from the Evening Standard. Of those travelers, 6 million arrived from cruise ships and spent an average of three hours total in the city. Day visitors cause cities to lose revenue typically earned through hotel stays, which is an important part of the economy for many popular tourist destinations. 

The recent move from Bruges officials is an effort to encourage travelers to invest more in the city by staying for longer. It echoes decisions made in an increasing number of European destinations that are grappling with the effects of mass tourism. This year, Venice city officials approved a new tax on day-trippers and Amsterdam banned tours of its red-light district in addition to introducing new levies that affect cruise passengers. Most recently, a crackdown on bad tourist behavior at historic sites around Rome was transformed into permanent law.

 

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I'm not sure why you started two identical threads; also, there's already a thread on this very subject.

 

 

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Yes, and we are not surprised. Many European cities are instituting regulations to ameliorate issues caused by overtourism. 

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12 hours ago, Turtles06 said:

I'm not sure why you started two identical threads; also, there's already a thread on this very subject.

 

 

Perhaps because I was very tired, just saw the article and pushed the post button twice by mistake...It was 3 AM when I did this.  Just came home from work...and I was a bit tired.  Sorry that posting twice apparently bothered you.  Have a nice day.

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The USA is still attempting to grapple with the problem of overtourism in the national parks. Yellowstone was simply swamped with tourist hordes when we visited 2 years ago and one of the park rangers told us that there has been a lot of damage to the delicate ecosystem.

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I can fully understand this. Some time ago, before we took our first cruise, we were in South West France for several months. We decided to go to Sète for a couple of days as we knew it well and wanted to have some time eating seafood and enjoying the picturesque streets.  Just after we arrived and went out to have a stroll round the harbour, a cruise ship docked. It was a nightmare trying to navigate the narrow pavements through crowds of passengers, so I have sympathy for residents of small places who suddenly find their population has swollen to immense numbers when a cruise ship disgorges its passengers. It must be very frustrating trying to go about one's everyday business - like the postman for instance - when you can't even walk along the pavement and have to keep stepping into the roadway to make any progress.

(note to N Americans - what we call pavements I believe you call sidewalks)

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Try Santorini when there are four ships in. It can take half the day to get up to the town and while you are there, you are panicking about getting down again in time.

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My mother lived for many years in a small town in the Cotswolds. We would see tourists arrive by the coachload, walk down the hill and get back on the coach to tick another town off their list. Visitors from the far East (Chinese/Japanese) were the main offenders and they would take thousands of photographs and block pavements, but buy nothing at all.

 

They were not all like that; Mother corresponded for years with a Japanese lady who knocked on her door and asked if she could photograph her garden. She was a very good photographer and I still have some that she took and sent back to Mother.

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I lived in Key West for years...The cruises basically ruined a very nice island.  My office was a block from the Southern most Point in the US...We had hordes of people sitting on our property...I understand all of this and I understand while Venice, Rome and now Brugge has come to this.  I love to cruise....but it is necessary to respect the people and the place where you are and realize that this is where someone lives.  BTW, went on a Med cruise in Oct/November that stopped in Santorini and it was empty....as was Venice and Ephesus...I even got to take photos of Pompeii with noone there but our small group of about 10 people...and the weather was great.  I managed to take photos of the tree I climbed in Ephesus when I lived in Turkey as a young child....It was still there, just a heck of a lot bigger.  Think fall for a cruise...you will be glad you did. 

 

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The cruise lines themselves are to blame for building increasingly large ships.  If there were four ships in port on the same day and they were the Wind Surf, the Le Boreal, the Silver Shadow, and the Royal Clipper, the 1100 or so extra bodies wouldn't be noticeable.  Instead of limiting the number of ships, they should probably limit by passenger load.  One megaship would be more than four small ships.

 

I expect that over the next decade a number of ports will simply close their doors to ships over 35 gross tonnage or so.  

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43 minutes ago, laughing husky said:

I lived in Key West for years...The cruises basically ruined a very nice island.  My office was a block from the Southern most Point in the US...We had hordes of people sitting on our property...I understand all of this and I understand while Venice, Rome and now Brugge has come to this.  I love to cruise....but it is necessary to respect the people and the place where you are and realize that this is where someone lives.  BTW, went on a Med cruise in Oct/November that stopped in Santorini and it was empty....as was Venice and Ephesus...I even got to take photos of Pompeii with noone there but our small group of about 10 people...and the weather was great.  I managed to take photos of the tree I climbed in Ephesus when I lived in Turkey as a young child....It was still there, just a heck of a lot bigger.  Think fall for a cruise...you will be glad you did. 


We love traveling off-season!  The locals are very welcoming if you go to Europe November through early March.  Prices are lower, no crowds at all, and I'd rather have to wear a coat than be melting in the summer heat.  

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On 6/21/2019 at 8:43 AM, laughing husky said:

Perhaps because I was very tired, just saw the article and pushed the post button twice by mistake...It was 3 AM when I did this.  Just came home from work...and I was a bit tired.  Sorry that posting twice apparently bothered you.  Have a nice day.

Actually, I find the search on this new format very bad so it's very easy to not be able to find topics.  I have no problem with double posting.  Thanks for taking the time to do this! 

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Some of the European cities are indeed getting spoilt by tourism, especially in the summer months when crowds, heat and smells (Amsterdam!) are very prevalent. But it's not just cruise passengers - London can be very uncomfortable and crammed and it's not ships to blame there - purely tourists and visitors on holiday.

We went to Amsterdam in the summer and unfortunately it wasn't pleasant at all - and we have always loved it. It was packed both on land and on the water - there seemed an abundance on small boats offering booze/herbal/music trips which clogged the canals. They are ruining the city unfortunately.

The cruise destinations are becoming victims of their own success - they are extremely busy without the cruise passengers but when ships are in port they're even worse.

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GOOD!!  One reason we do not travel Europe in the summer is the crowds......I am sure this will have all the cruise companies crazy trying to redo their schedules.....No one loves the crowds.

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I would love to cruise off season, but I work on a school schedule so I can only go in the summer. Something I can look forward to doing when I retire.

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We'll be in Bruges in September and are taking a tour to Flanders Fields....sometimes best to get out in the countryside instead of the city esp if you have been there before.  In Amsterdam we are going to Delft.

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