prince edward county fines

This Ontario tourist destination is imposing huge fines to limit visitors this year

After a hectic tourist season last year, Prince Edward County is looking to deter crowds and traffic jams with huge fines and fees this summer.

With the U.S. border and amusement parks closed, leaving few choices for travel or summer fun, nearby attractions were inundated with visitors last year.

Last summer, visitors lined up for hours for a chance to enjoy Sandbanks beach, only to be turned away. Local residents reported traffic jams miles long near beach access points, illegal parking and camping, excessive garbage, safety concerns and overcrowding, In Quinte reports.

This year, with hopes of reducing the crowds, the county is imposing large fines.

No-parking fines will increase from $35 to a whopping $400, from May 1 to Oct. 31 near several tourist destination locations including in Hillier Ward, roads adjacent to Little Bluff Conservation Area, spots near Sandbanks Provincial Park, and in the vicinity of the Mountain Provincial Park, along County Road 18, County Road and County Road 20.

The fine for illegal camping at municipal parks and beaches is increasing from $75 to $500.

Visitors will also now be charged $10 per person to visit Wellington Rotary Beach on the weekends. The Wellington Beach gate is to be staffed from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. from June 4 to Sept. 19 on Saturday, Sunday and holidays.

An increase in fines and the imposition of entry fees is one way cities around the world are dealing with overtourism in places such as Barcelona and all around Thailand.

The county's regional tourism organization is also encouraging visitors to "avoid gridlock on rural roads and long line-ups at tasting rooms" by planning visits in advance.

During peak summer months, the tourism organization asks visitors to plan to visit beaches in the early morning, evening or on weekdays.

"Beaches and outdoor spaces are especially busy in July and August; in 2020, thousands of unprepared visitors were turned away every weekend," the organization said.

Before you head to out the beach this summer, be sure to check social media channels in advance for Sandbanks and North Beach; Wellington Rotary Beach or Little Bluff Conservation Area, or you may be stuck in traffic, face fines or get turned back.

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