Tourism

Rome tackles overtourism by limiting tour buses

If you plan on seeing Rome on a tour bus, you better do it soon, because come 2019, the city will limit where tour buses can go, and how many can go through the city centre.

The new regulation is Roma Mobilità‘s, the city’s transport department, answer to curbing over-tourism, but many tour operators fear that touring companies – many of whom use tour buses around cities – will take a hit.

According to Skift, the city is creating three different bus zones within the city centre with different time restrictions – easing congestion by reducing tour buses in its ancient city centre in particular.

However, Zones A, B and C cover a ton of popular tourist attractions. Zone A and B allow tour buses and include Vatican City and other outlying areas in Rome. But Zone C, which covers most of the ancient city centre and tourist hotspots like the Colosseum and Pantheon, will be off limits to buses every day.

The regulation was actually challenged in Rome’s Tribunale Amministrativo Regionale del Lazio court, a regional administrative justice court, as per Skift, but on October 12, the court ruled in the city’s favour.

The regulation will take effect in 2019 – and in a statement, Roma Mobilità said it would help “reduce pollution and enforce orderly traffic management.”

Rome’s mayor, Virginia Raggi, has added that she supports the decision and that it should also help reduce carbon emissions in Rome.

“This is an expected and important decision, which rewards the goodness of our provision and the work done by my administration,” Raggi said.

“We have, for the first time, approved a series of rigorous rules to protect monuments and valuable areas, to counteract pollution, and to increase road safety. Starting in January, we will have safer roads and a more liveable city.”

But Collette, who run 17 Italy itineraries, told Skift the regulation will have a negative effect on themselves, and other touring companies, in Italy.

“The guests inevitably will bear the burden of changes and costs and this taints the overall travel experience,” said Paula Twidale, executive vice president of Collette.

“If tour prices become too expensive, the guests will spend their money in other destinations instead of Rome.”

The regulations will come into effect on January 1, 2019.

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

  • Owen Olsen

    Put some good walking shoes on and go explore Rome on foot, you’ll see more. Cheers

  • Bruce

    When we go to Rome we will rent a car then. And so will the next family and the next and the next etc… There is a zonal charge but we can wear that. ..Typical narrow minded Italian politics…

  • Owen Olsen

    Rent a car? Perhaps for country driving but not for cruising around Rome. And no it’s not narrow minded Italian politics. Parking is a real issue in the old parts of Rome, whether it’s for tour buses, mini-buses, limousines, vans and cars. Good luck.

  • Owen Olsen

    I replied to your comment but it seems it was omitted by the moderator. Not sure why. All I said was renting a car is fine if you want to see the countryside. In central Rome it’s not a good idea. There are hassles finding car parks. It is already congested with tour buses, minibuses, limousines, vans and cars parking illegally, double parking and ranking. So this is why the council is cracking down. Not only on tour buses, etc., but also on the locals who break the law everyday. It’s not narrow minded [Italian] politics.

    Like said in my other post, you are much better off wearing a good pair of walking shoes and explore the city by foot. You’ll definitely see and experience more. Then if moving around Italy use their fast trains or as said rent a car for drives into the countryside where you’ll have very few hassles.

    Cheers

  • Bruce

    Yeah, you are probably right. But as a bus operator I am used to Governments knee jerk taxing and restricting us with zero consideration for the cars that end up back on the road as a result. Then they claim to be on about making transport better!

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