Brits warned as popular Spanish hotspot is set to charge tourists to go there
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A popular Spanish tourist spot is set to start charging travellers to visit to stop overcrowding and to keep ‘disrespectful’ visitors to a minimum.
The fee is being proposed by local government officials in Santiago de Compostela, with increasing numbers of visitors to the historic city failing to be courteous and respectful on their visit, as well as overcrowding the place.
It’s also pretty heaving as well, with 439,000 people visiting last year.
You see, Santiago de Compostela is famous for being the end of a number of walks across Europe known as the ‘Camino de Santiago’.
The Camino is a network of pilgrimage paths from all over Europe, taking travellers across hundreds of miles of pathway and through the countryside to the shrine of St James the Great in the impressive cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Spain’s Galicia region.
There are routes from Spain, from Portugal, and France, with more than 200,000 pilgrims making the religious journey every single year.
With it being a religious pilgrimage, you might think that the behaviour of tourists wouldn’t be as much of a problem, and they might be a bit more reverent than usual visitors.
You would also think that they’d be too knackered to cause much issue after walking hundreds of miles, but apparently, you’d be wrong.
OK, there aren’t loads of rioting drunk Brits in the city – we think – but there are people who need to show ‘respect’ according to the mayor.
City officials want the place to become a bit more ‘breathable’ and have proposed a tax on hoteliers starting in 2025 of between fifty euro cents and two euros fifty per person.
That could raise as much as three million euros each year, which could then be used to protect the historical landmarks of the town.
These plans are the brainchild of newly elected mayor Goretti Sanmartín, who said: "We want to enjoy a rich and prosperous tourism sector, but also a comfortable and breathable city."
'Comfortable and breathable' sounds nice, doesn't it?
The mayor wants to increase ‘awareness’ amongst visitors, adding: "It's not so much the issue of the number of people who arrive, but of the people's knowledge of the fact that the basic norms of coexistence must be respected, and respect and care for the heritage must be guaranteed.
"It's more an issue of awareness that we have to address from the very beginning."
The mayor says that the fee will pay for restorations, renovations, cleaning, sanitation, and all sorts.
It had been considered before, but implementation was delayed until 2025.
They’re now waiting for the proposals to be reviewed and presented to the Galician regional administration.