Venice continues to look at ways to reduce the pressure of tourists in peak season
The latest proposal from the non-profit organization Venessia.com in Venice is that tourists visiting Piazza San Marco should pay a fee and make a reservation during high season. This new regulation would help reduce the daily pressure on the famous square and give room to local residents to enjoy their city.
The proposal to turn Piazza San Marco into something like a museum facility is the latest of many attempts to suggest ideas to reduce some of the enormous pressures which fall upon one of Italy’s most charming and popular cities. According to the new plan, the fee and reservations would be in effect only for two to three months in the year when there is a high peak of tourist attendance
The rule would exclude residents and visitors who are already staying in Venice and paying the tourist tax or those who purchase tickets to the city museums. If the fee was set to 5 EURO, the current rate of roughly ten million visitors on Piazza San Marco would bring an annual return of about 50 million Euro to Venice.
However, the suggestion is unlikely to come to fruition – there are just too many complications involved in setting up such a regulation. This won’t prevent the Venice authorities from considering more suggestions though. Every year tourism puts great pressures on the tourist heart of Venice – the area around St.Mark’s Square and the Rialto Bridge. These areas act like honey pots to the 22 million tourists a year who visit Venice. Much of the rest of Venice Island has relatively few tourists and certainly does not suffer from the same level of congestion as these tourist hot-spots.
Cruise ships have received particular criticism for unloading hundreds of visitors in one go, and there have been a number of calls to limit the number of cruise ships visiting the city at any one time.
So Venice’s long-standing love-hate affair with the tourist continues. Tourism is the city’s only real industry. The hotels, bars, restaurants and souvenir shops which rely on the tourist are not complaining about visitor numbers but there’s no denying that Venice does have a real issue to contend with in peak season. It looks as if it’s a case of “watch this space” for more developments in the future.