News that Italy's Cinque Terre is set to implement a ticketing system that limits the number of tourists who visit the area is the latest reminder of the privileges and pitfalls that have come with increasingly accessible airfares and mass tourism.
Cinque Terre, located in the Liguria region of Italy, is the latest tourist destination that has been forced to put a cap on tourists in a bid to preserve the integrity of its natural surroundings in the wake of explosive visitor numbers over the last few years.
In 2011, following a torrential rainfall that battered the area, Cinque Terre received 400,000 visitors. the number rebounded to 2.5 million last year, thanks in large part to docking cruise ships which drop off hundreds of thousands of day tripping visitors in one go.
In February 2016, a spokesman for the national park and UNESCO World Heritage Site announced that as of the summer of 2016, visitors will have to buy an advanced ticket online in order to gain access to the cliff-side trails which connect the five fishing villages.
The aim is to reduce the number of tourists from 2.5 million a year, to 1.5 million.
Cinque Terre is the latest environmentally sensitive area to bear the brunt of mass tourism with the proliferation of low-budget airlines and increasingly mobile tourists