This past Easter weekend there was a tourist stampede in the historical lagoon city of Venice. Two drunken visitors were caught while dancing in the street – naked – near the famous Rialto Bridge. These occurrences have propelled the local authorities to again suggest charging those who are arriving to sight see for only one day. Day-trippers to Venice may be charged to enter the floating city in the future.
Approximately 125,000 people visited the city on Easter Sunday and about an additional 95,000 on Easter Monday. This volume of people caused severe congestion in the city’s narrow alleyways. There were extremely long queues at popular attractions and of course many frustrated locals.
A sustainable solution is needed
Luigi Brugnaro, the local mayor, has failed to come up with a sustainable solution to the city’s tourism woes for some time now. Charging day-trippers to enter is Brugnaro`s suggestion. The very same idea has been proposed but has never come to fruition.
The mayor said he is waiting on a new law that would give him more power to limit tourist numbers. The centre-right coalition, which is vying to enter government, would need to pass this law.
Brugnaro believes the solution is obvious. Those who live, work or have a place in the city will be free to enter. Others must “stay away” he said in an interview with Corriere.
Liveability is a priority
The local mayor would like to guarantee liveability for residents and tourists as a priority.
The mayor wants to be given the power to close the city on certain days to help fight off the crowds. Many ideas have been proposed to the government and the locals are hoping they will receive the help they need.
Last July some 2,000 Venetians marched against a tourism industry. Locals feel the excessive tourism has destroyed their quality of life and is damaging the environment.
Dependent on tourism
Many of Venice’s local businesses are dependent on the lucrative industry for their survival. Systems to count people and promoting the lagoon’s lesser-known islands are some ideas that have been discussed but nothing has been put into force.
With the city dependent on the lucrative industry for its survival, authorities regularly announce measures to alleviate issues, such as introducing people-counter systems and promoting the lagoon’s lesser-known islands, but nothing has come into force.
Brugnaro hailed a move last year that will see giant cruise ships banned from passing through the center of Venice from the year 2022. The future is uncertain though as some say the plan is unworkable and will have little impact.