Created on April 18, 2012, the Calanques National Park is entering a new era ten years later. On the institutional side, its historic director, François Bland, is leaving his post and will see a successor designated by the summer. As for its president, the departmental councilor Les Républicains Didier Réault, he will be forced to leave a chair he has occupied since 2013, if he is – as he has the ambition – elected deputy in the 6and constituency of Bouches-du-Rhône.
On the public side, the summer of 2022 will be that of an even more significant revolution. That of the end of free access to the land sites of this 53,000 hectare park, located on the shores of the Mediterranean in the municipalities of Marseille, Cassis and La Ciotat.
Saturday April 9, as every year, the classic bans on access to motor vehicles come into force. First for weekends and public holidays, then, from Wednesday 1er July for each day of the week. But from the end of June, the only peri-urban national park in France will innovate with the establishment of a compulsory reservation and a visitor quota on two of its emblematic creeks: Sugiton and its neighbor Pierres-Tombées. The weekends of June 25 and 26 and July 2 and 3 will allow this new system to be tested. Which will become daily from July 9 to August 21.
Three million visitors per year
The creation of this “visit permit”free but unavoidable, is the culmination of a long process of reflection by the authorities of the park, who seek, through a “package of measures” to begin the decline in attendance estimated at three million visitors per year.
In December 2020, after a summer season marked by an unprecedented tourist explosion – explained in particular by foreign travel restrictions due to Covid-19 – the institution launched a so-called “demarketing” policy, affecting its communication.
The creeks of Sormiou, Morgiou or Sugiton, seeing an average of two thousand people pass by per day
Even if it remained below the records of 2020, the summer of 2021 was still marked by peaks in attendance, approaching 10,000 daily visitors on the coast. The creeks of Sormiou, Morgiou or Sugiton, seeing an average of two thousand people pass by per day. “At these levels, visitors are forced, in order to settle on the seaside coastline, to spill over into the natural environments, creating major problems of trampling and erosion, destroying the soils, the natural habitats and their capacity for natural regeneration. », emphasizes the park.
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