Athens, Greece.- A new system of timed entrance to the site of the Acropolis went into effect on Monday, with Culture Minister Lina Mendoni telling Alpha TV the system will protect the monument and make it easier for visitors to enjoy the experience. the daily limit of visitors cannot exceed 20,000.
In an interview, Mendoni said a limit of 20,000 visitors to the Acropolis per day was based on a report by the Management and Development of Cultural Resources Organization, which suggested the limit to prevent congestion and protect the ancient and iconic site. The minister said the report took into account the amount of time visitors spent at the site and aimed at providing a constant flow of visitors and preventing bottlenecks at the entrance especially during the morning hours, when the highest traffic to the Parthenon occurs.
“The purpose is to avoid the congestion that used to occur up to yesterday, as 50% of visitors want to go up to the Acropolis between 08:00 and 11:00,” the culture minister said. The new online-based system keeps track of the number of visitors, providing a cut off once a zone has already filled its alloted number of visitors. “The current open hours from 08:00 to 20:00 have been divided into 12 visiting zones,” Mendoni said, referring to the extended schedule during summer.
“Every zone has a specific number of allowed visitors. For example, the 08:00-09:00 zone allows 3,000 people; it will not allow 3,000 + 1. This means that visitors have a greater opportunity for the right touring and enjoyment of this major monument,” she added.
The new system will provide a constant flow and prevent congestion both at the site and at the entrance, where a bottleneck often occurred.
Mendoni said that from July to early September, Cultural Resources Organization and archaeology officials of the Athens Ephorate had met with tourism officials and guides to brief them and give them time to adjust to the new procedure.