Published on : Tuesday, June 25, 2019
After local authorities said that it was fast turning into tourist-saturated akin to “Disneyland”, in the beautiful canal town of Bruges, the cruise ship tourism encountered a cull. Proposals to restrict visitor numbers, particularly day-trippers, to the Belgian city were declared earlier this month. Every year, around 1.8 million British nationals visit Belgium. The severe warning over the UNESCO World Heritage Site came from Dirk De Fauw, the elected mayor of Bruges since 2018. Zeebrugge port, at a time can house up to five cruise ships, though this will be limited to one or two per day now.
Also, firms may be compelled to switch up their sailing schedules so they moor in the week, as opposite to weekends, to spread out the crowds.
While speaking of the anticipated significant changes, the Cruise Line International Association told Express.co.uk they would take a vow to “sustainable” tourism.
To quote them, “The cruise industry accounts for around three per cent of total tourism to Bruges, and whilst we are small part of the overall mix, we want to be a large part of finding a sustainable solution to ensure the city works for both residents and visitors.”
“There is not a one-size-fits-all solution to destination sustainability.”
“That’s why CLIA is actively partnering with local stakeholders including destination mayors, local government, travel and tourism businesses, local NGOs and others to address immediate concerns, as well as collaborate on long-term planning.”
They further added: “CLIA cruise lines have well-planned itineraries (usually more than a year in advance) that deliver passengers at known and regular times to destinations.”
“Their shore excursion programs are designed carefully to minimize disruption to the local community while generating positive economic impact.”
“The cruise industry recognizes that Bruges is a unique destination, and the cruise industry is committed to protecting its cultural heritage and safeguarding its sustainability.”