What’s behind overtourism in Venice?

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Offline Kamrul Hasan Bhuiyan

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What’s behind overtourism in Venice?
« on: May 30, 2019, 04:09:17 PM »
What’s behind overtourism in Venice?
Overtourism boils down to the simple fact of too many people visiting the same place at the same time and Venice is, sadly, a prime example. Some 20 million visitors flood in each year; on its busiest days, around 120,000 people visit this city which is home to just 55,000 permanent residents [1]. Many of these tourists stick to the famous landmarks – the Rialto Bridge, St Mark’s Square – further concentrating numbers into a tiny footprint. This damages Venice’s fragile buildings, strains its infrastructure, inhibits local people from going about their business and, frankly, makes for a woeful visitor experience, too. Nobody benefits, not even the tourists.

The reasons behind overtourism in Venice are complex and manifold, and you can read more about the overtourism phenomenon here. Many of the same issues crop up in Venice as in Barcelona, Reykjavik or Dubrovnik – the rapid growth of low cost aviation, cruise ships and peer-to-peer home sharing platforms are all guilty parties. The rise of the day tripper is a huge problem, too. Ironically, no one seems to dedicate time to seeing this timeless city. Of the 20 million people who come to Venice each year, only half sleep here, which is why hotel stays have dropped by two thirds over the past 25 years. Many have poured off a cruise ship – on some days as many as 44,000 cruise passengers come to the city – or are on a whirlwind tour of Italy. Some stay for just a few hours, see little, buy a few trinkets and leave. They bring no economic benefit to the city in this way.