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Published on : Tuesday, August 1, 2017
The recently published report of the international human rights organization UNESCO – 2017 World Heritage in Danger list, we find the mention of cities like Aleppo and Damascus, located in Syria. However, to utter dismay, it did not take in the city of Venice —it surprised many local Italians though. The reason was tourism going berserk.
“In July and August it’s like war,” Paola Mar, leads the city’s tourism bureau, lately informed The Independent.
That may appear like hyperbole holding up next to the likes of Aleppo, however the struggle of this Italian city is genuine at the same time hard to address. Tourists are more concerned to witness historic urban landscape as part of the international public domain in Venice without understanding that Venetian services and infrastructure costs a lot of money. Mar’s job, according to the paper, is to tread “a gossamer-thin line between the needs of a globalized world that thinks canalside selfies are a human right, and increasingly furious locals, protesting about being pushed out of their jobs, homes and city in favor of Airbnbs, souvenir shops and an incessant stream of people wearing cruise-ship stickers and following umbrella-toting guides.”
To note, Venice is not alone in this struggle fighting with the dark side of a tourism boom supported by several trends. If we look at the current trend, American millennials are more prone to collect experiences rather than things and are visiting in record numbers as well. Chinese tourism is also growing immensely as a result of to less restricted travel policies and the quick rise of a new middle class. Cities like Brooklyn, New Orleans and Salt Lake City in the U.S along with countries like Iceland and New Zealand are using tourism as a new economic staple in the last decade. In case of Iceland, tourism is serving as a way to mend the harm done by the 2008 financial crisis.