Overtourism is threatening sites like Carrick-a-rede. The National Trust’s Heather McLachlan has commissioned a study to find ways of tackling the issue.
THE National Trust has commissioned a world-first study, in a bid to address the threat of 'overtourism' on the North Coast.
The charity's proposed 'Capacity Management Model' has already prompted interest from authorities in Venice, who have for decades been struggling to cope with their own overwhelming visitor numbers.
Locally, a new wave of oversees interest in North Coast sites like Carrick-a-rede and the Giant's Causeway has led to peak-time traffic congestion, overcrowded car parks and long queues to see the attractions.
And with local communities suffering as much as the visitors, the Trust is determined to take action.
Speaking exclusively to the Chronicle, National Trust's Regional Director, Heather McLachlan said the problem needs a co-ordinated approach from the site operators, the community, plus local and regional government.
“We have recognised that the impact of tourism requires us to think hard about how we manage our sites.
“So we have asked some experts to come in and help us develop the evidence base on which we will make our decisions.
“We need to be planning ahead, which feeds into the wider infrastructure strategy on a borough and Northern Ireland-wide basis.
“It hasn’t been done before. Across the world we’ve been looking to see what else exists and we haven’t found anything. And what’s been really interesting is that we now have people phoning us from Venice to find out what we are doing.”
*Full story in this week's Chronicle*