< /p> Venice has crossed a fatal line – due to overtourism, local residents are rapidly fleeing the city, as a result, this unique place risks becoming a ghost town without its permanent population. According to the Italian press, the reduction in population to tourists has reached a “critical threshold”.
While the number of beds allocated for tourism in the city has reached almost 50 thousand, the number of permanent residents of the city has decreased to 49 thousand people. To understand the scale of the disaster, it is worth adding that in the early 1950s the number of local residents was about 175 thousand people. The level below 50 thousand was called the “critical threshold” – and Venice reached it in the summer of 2022. The most popular tourist center of Venice and the islands of Murano and Burano lost an average of 2.4 inhabitants per day between 1997 and 2022, the associations Venessia.com and Ocio said. At the same time, the number of beds for tourist purposes increased by 4.8 per day.
The Ocio association said city residents had been forced to migrate en masse due to the “expansionism of a tourist monoculture” and criticized government inaction. “A city without inhabitants turns into something else: an open-air museum, an amusement park,” the association said. As a result, Venice risks “ceasing to be a city,” they added.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) also understands this – it recommended that Venice be included in the list of “heritage in danger of extinction” due to the problems caused by mass tourism. It is expected that this proposal will be discussed at a meeting of the World Heritage Committee on September 10-25.
Recall that Venice intends to combat “one-day” tourists by introducing an entrance fee. Mayor Luigi Brugnaro announced last Wednesday that entry into the city on busy days will be subject to reservation and at an additional cost, starting next year.
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