Abkhazia's New Athos Monastery calls on Ministry of Culture to reduce number of tourists
Abkhazia’s monastery overwhelmed by drunken Russian tourists
Monks of the New Athos Monastery in Abkhazia asked tour operators to protect them from drunken Russian tourists.
The New Athos Monastery is one of the most visited places in Abkhazia by Russian tourists. During the holiday season, tens of thousands of people visit it every week.
The total duration of the tour is more than ten hours and it is usually sold as part of a larger excursion to other sights in Abkhazia. Most often, the entire package is designed for only one or two days, and tours always include a visit to one of the rural estates with a feast or at least a wine tasting.
As a result, vacationers are often brought to the monastery drunk.
“In this condition, they visit the monastery and the New Athos cave. On many occasions, tourists would get sick both inside the church and in the monastery courtyard”, says a special appeal from the leadership of the monastery to tour operators.
The monks ask tourist firms to show responsibility and at least organize free sanitary places along the entire route, where tourists could put themselves in order. In addition, “warn tourists in advance so that they take specialized packages for food poisoning with them”.
The clergy also ask to inform tourists in advance about the inadmissibility of climbing the wall in front of the monastery for the sake of photographs.
The monastery also invites the Ministry of Tourism to pay attention to the situation:
“Treat your guests with respect, but warn them about how to behave in the sacred places of New Athos”, the appeal says.
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