Valencia is attracting more and more visitors. Between 2006 and 2018, the number of tourists per year has increased from about 1.6 millions to 2 millions. Its historical centre (Ciutat Vella), its City of Arts and Science and its beaches are among the most popular destinations, and the famous Fallas Festival attracts more and more people, especially after the decision by UNESCO to include it in its List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
In addition, Valencia has an important commercial port, known as Valenciaport. Cruise traffic at the Port of Valencia has grown 125% in number of passengers over the last 10 years. Data about the cruise industry trends in the Mediterranean area indicate that this traffic will continue increasing in the coming years.
Like in many other Spanish and European cities, this increase of tourist flows has also had negative impacts, such as the overcrowding of the city centre or the increase of the rental prices (only between 2017 and 2018, the increase in Ciutat Vella is of 29.53%, according to ASICVAL, Asociación de Inmobiliarias de la Comunitat Valenciana). Valencia is starting to feel the consequences of overtourism.
The HERIT-DATA partner Valencia Port Foundation (VPF) is leading a pilot action to better monitor cruise tourists flows in strategic areas of the city.
Supported by Turisme Comunitat Valenciana, the Valencia Regional Council, the City Council and several other actors who manage touristic sites in the city, VPF is going to install sensors and other data collection tools to monitor the crowdedness of some of the most famous historical and cultural sites, and the flow of tourists in three relevant access points to the city.
Cruise terminals, la Lonja facade, the Mercado Central, The City of Arts and Sciences, the Valencia Cathedral and the corridor between Plaza Virgen and Plaza Reina are the places where VPF is going to collect this data. This will allow to generate reports that will help take better decisions about how to reduce overcrowdedness in Valencia’s beautiful historical heritage sites.
Valencia pilot site: first sensors installed to measure the flow of visitors
Do you remember about the HERIT-DATA pilot site of Valencia? In our September 2019 E-flash, we explained how our partners Valenciaport Foundation and Fundación Santa Maria La Real will install sensors to collect data about tourism flows in key areas of the city.
The set up of these sensors is now ongoing: after the first three sensors in the port terminal, two others are going to be installed at the Basilica of the Virgen de los Desamparados and at a crossing point in the city centre which is often particularly crowded.