This may come as a dampener for the tourists who love to be a part of the annual tomato throwing festival that is held in Spain every year. The authorities, alarmed by the increasing number of tourists arriving from all parts of the world to the small Spanish town of Bunol to participate in the annual La Tomatina festival have decided to make it a ticketed event with only ticket holders being allowed to throng the streets and make merry by throwing tomatoes at each other.
For those who do not know, la Tomatina is a food and wine festival that is better known among the tourists as a festival of throwing tomatoes. It is held on the last Wednesday of August every year and people from all regions of the world start making preparations to attend the festival quite early. While it was a localized affair only a few years ago, the experiences of the visiting tourists have helped in popularizing the annual event across the globe to make it one of the most sought after travel experience. The fact that the scenes of the festival involving actors were made a part of some of the Hollywood movies further helped in arousing interest for this fun filled festival.
La Tomatina is held in Bunol, which is a small town close to the coastal city of Valencia. Tourists arrive and stay in Valencia that has developed a lot just because of this festival. It has today become the third largest city in entire Spain. One has to be there to believe the kind of fun and enjoyment people have in a riot of squashed fruits and juices of tomatoes. Of course you can see the photos and videos that are there on the internet to know what it feels like to be there in person.
But the manner in which the number of tourists to take part in la Tomatina was increasing in the last few years raised alarm bells in the ears of the authorities. Last year alone, some 45000 tourists arrived in Bunol that is hardly equipped to handle such a rush of tourists. To cut down on the number of tourists coming over to Spain to participate in La Tomatina, Spanish government has introduced a ticketing system with 10 Euros being proposed to be charged from every tourist. Only 20000 people will be allowed to take part in merrymaking with 500 tickets reserved for the local populace. This means that only 15000 tourists from all over the world will get a chance to come and enjoy the fun and thrill of tomato throwing in Bunol this year.
Though the idea of paying 10 Euros to be a part of la Tomatina may not be liked by some tourists, Spanish authorities are confident that this will help in better organization and management of the festival. They also feel that this step will go a long way in ensuring the safety of the tourists.