Ana Trancoso González

Venice: the problem of overtourism and the impact of cruises

This article aims to present the current tourism problem in Venice and specifically to analyse how the island and the lagoon are being affected by cruise ship tourism. Made a World Heritage Site by UNESCO as recently as 1987, from 2016 it has become a candidate for Heritage in Danger. UNESCO has imposed an ultimatum on the capital of Veneto in order to regulate the flow of tourism and ensure the care of the future of the city. For this purpose, the different socio-cultural factors that have affected the modification of the city will be analyzed, with a primary focus on the tourism sector, such as the relevance of space, the context in a city with such a symbolic past, or the relevance of the market and current economic interests. All these factors have led to one of the most impressive cases of turistification. Amongst all these factors, cruise ship tourism is particularly influential, given Venice’s location at the heart of the Mediterranean circuit. Cruises cause a great impact in cities, particularly in Venice due to its uniqueness: pollution, noise, smoke, alteration of heritage and the environment, endangerment of citizenship, architectural and cultural heritage and the environment. And at what cost? With recent changes in mind, and given the extreme situation which has come to pass, it is hoped that public awareness will lead to heavier tourism regulation —in particular for cruises— which would be a key step towards achieving inhabitable, tourist-friendly cities.

Keywords: tourism; mass tourism; overtourism; cruise tourism; cruises; Venice.

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