VENICE Italy TOURISM CONCERNS GROW

VENICE Italy TOURISM CONCERNS GROW

The United Nations said that Venice would be put on Unesco’s list of endangered heritage sites if they did not ban cruise ships from the lagoon by 2017. Last week Venetians acted on that, preventing and delaying cruise ships from entering the lagoon with protests on dinghies, gondolas and small boats.

Residents are angry about mass tourism in their small city. In high season they receive 60,000 visitors a day - this in a city with a population of 55,000 and dwindling.
Young people are said to move out at a rate of about 1,000 people a year due to increasing property taxes and rents. Landlords can earn more money on Airbnb than renting to residents.
Half of the visitors are cruisers who arrive in the city for a few hours and leave without spending money on hotels or restaurants.
The Comitato NO Grandi Navi demonstrators blame cruise ships for causing environmental damage.
An open letter from the group stated, 'We may be the last generation to live in Venice as a real city, where to find a house and a job, or going about our daily lives on the streets were normal things, not the actions of superheroes.
"Now let's be clear: we're not nostalgic, we're p***** off. But we're also realistic and determined to give all so that this town, our town, does not decay permanently.
"The young people who want to stay in or move to Venice and the islands must be able to plan their future.
"They must be able to find a reasonable rent, a job that will allow them to deal with the mortgage payments without anxiety at the end of the month, and have access to the services that every normal city offers to its residents.
"If you don't act now, the decline will be relentless, resulting in certain death."
Opposition to tourism has been steadily increasing over the past few months, with signs recently appearing in the city saying, 'Tourists go away! You are destroying this area.'
Generation 90 is a campaign group that was established this summer. About 500 members attended a rally at the city square a month ago, pushing buggies and grocery carts and warning tourists to watch their feet.
Marco Caberlotto is a member of Generation 90 and described crowded streets and overloaded vaporetti (water taxis).
Protestors want visitor caps, an elimination of cruise ship visits and solutions to repair the housing crisis, possibly an Airbnb tax as was introduced in Florence this year (€2.50 per person per night).
The cruise industry claims to provide an economic benefit to the region and benefit 5,000 families in tourism.
CLIA says it has already banned its biggest ships and is looking for a solution from the Venetian government.

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