London News

ETOA fights coach restrictions in Rome

ETOA (The European Tourism Association) is calling on Rome tourism authorities to suspend the introduction of complex new regulations set to dramatically restrict the number of coaches into its historic centre, from January 2019.

ETOA and its members, many who provide services (DMC and local operators; hoteliers; restaurateurs; attractions and museums) in Rome and tour operators who sell Italy worldwide, are respectfully recommending that Rome suspends the enforcement of these new plans until either clear evidence is provided to show they would be beneficial or until there are more effective solutions developed which will have demonstrable long-term benefits for the local community, businesses and visitors. There are serious concerns about the practicability of the new plan as well as the harm it might cause. 

They believe the 2019 New Tourist Bus Plan

- Will make traffic congestion worse as coaches are an efficient use of road space taking up the space of approximately three cars. Alternatives would take up more space (eg 15-17 taxis per one coach). The new regulation will increase congestion outside Zone C.

- Will make air quality worse. The new plans restrict access for low emission vehicles.

- Will damage the local community as it will make the provision of some private transport services for local people more expensive.

- Will damage the visitor economy and hospitality industry. Service providers believe they will lose both MICE and leisure group travel. Operators say that business will move away.

ETOA has extensive experience of working with destinations in addressing operational challenges to develop capacity management strategies. Adequate investment in public transport and traffic planning is essential to keep cities appealing places to live, work and visit. Consultation with industry to assess impact and develop smart solutions is essential.  

Tom Jenkins, ETOA Chief Executive said: “Rome is a jewel in the crown of many European itineraries and if these plans go ahead they will cause untold damage. ETOA can help Rome develop evidence-based solutions.”

The 2019 New Tourist Bus Plan: