The Cinque Terre National Park in Italy, which was declared in 1997 as a UNESCO World Heritage site, has attracted visitors from all over the world- including some unruly travelers from China.
The area, filled with an abundant flourishing wildlife surrounding its picturesque villages, was recently visited by a group of misbehaving Chinese tourists and locals were appalled at their complete disregard for marine life.
Some of the visitors were caught on video last month seemingly unable to resist disturbing the sea urchins found in the nearby waters, reported Shanghaiist. The display of utter carelessness caused the person shooting the video clip to express her disbelief in what she was witnessing.
The captured footage, recently aired on the Taiwanese channel TVBS, showed the tourists picking up sea urchins straight out of the sea as if they were picking up pebbles. The group is seen posing with the small, spiky, globular animals and passing them around to the dismay of the observing locals. A female tourist is shown trying to smash an urchin with a rock.
The tour guide of the group was reportedly told by a local fisherman that the urchins were prohibited from being removed from their habitat since they were too small. The persistent, unruly Chinese tourists, however, went on with their business.
The disturbance caused by an onslaught of visitors to the beauty and tranquility of the once remote place has caused worry to many residents in the area. Last year, Cinque Terre attracted 2.5 million tourists, prompting the locals to file a petition urging UNESCO to help improve tourist management in the site to help protect it from impending doom.