Venice again considers tourism caps, limits on ships

 

Venetians, or those who remain, have been upset for years over a feeling of being swamped by tourists, especially day-trippers and cruise passengers, whose daytime numbers can make La Serenissima seem un-serene in the extreme.

Now, after a summer marked by protests including attempts to block the huge cruise ships that dwarf the city from entering the Venetian Lagoon, the city is being pushed to take action. One of the pushes is a UN warning that Venice would be placed on UNESCO's list of endangered World Heritage sites if it doesn't ban the cruise ships within a year.

The city tourism office has told reporters that "We're thinking about it; it’s not definite but we are considering it,” while the national Ministry of Culture says that “The government is studying a strategic plan for tourism with the aim of reducing the overcrowding of the most popular places and offering alternative destinations.”

That may seem like small hope for locals who have swum and boated into the shipping channels to block ships, have festooned bridges with anti-tourism signs and asked to see some real action. But, in a city whose economy absolutely depends on tourism, they clearly don't want it to end entirely.

The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

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Venice is really a fairly small place, and definitely has limited capacity to handle tourists.  I can definitely see limiting the number of day visitors here, although I don't know that completely banning all of the cruise ships is their best solution.  Today the business of Venice is tourism.  Without tourists, it would not survive.

Twitter: @DrFumblefinger

"We do not take a trip, a trip takes us".  John Steinbeck, from Travels with Charlie

The issue of the ships is somewhat different from the number of tourists issue. because of their sheer size, they change the currents, channels and sea life of the islands in ways that would be different if anchored on other shores of the lagoon. Plus, at anchor in Venice, they tower over the buildings.

The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

Ships have lots of different ways of getting their travelers to a destination, if they can't dock there.  Smaller boats to shuttle people back and forth are very popular with tourists and the cruise companies, and would work well here.

Twitter: @DrFumblefinger

"We do not take a trip, a trip takes us".  John Steinbeck, from Travels with Charlie

In this case, docking at Mestre and using bus or train to enter Venice could be at least a partial solution...

The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

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