ETOA calls for suspension of new coach restrictions in Rome due for implementation 1 January 2019

On the final day of World Travel Market 2018, 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 1 January 2019.

ETOA and its members, many who provide services (hoteliers; restauranteurs; 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.

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)
  • Will make air quality worse. The new plans restrict the access of low emission vehicles.
  • Will damage the local community as it will make the provision of private transport services for local people more expensive
  • Will overload the public transport system with groups that would’ve been carried on coaches
  • Will damage the visitor economy and hospitality industry. Service providers believe they will lose business particularly those planning meetings and incentive group travel and leisure group travel
  • Will open Rome up to further competition, due to cost increases and large coach operators being attracted elsewhere

ETOA has extensive experience of working with destinations in addressing operational challenges to develop capacity management strategies and is offering to collaborate with Rome to share good practice that has been developed elsewhere.

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 the best evidence-based solutions.”