Venice Tourism Assignment: Discussion On Over-Tourism
Task: Prepare a Venice tourism assignment sharing your personal experience on the issue of over-tourism.
The study prepared in the following Venice tourism assignment sheds light on the personal tourism experience and issue of over-tourism in Venice. Human are always being the love of nature and adventure, and they want to achieve newer experiences in their lives. Therefore, it is obvious that they want to explore different new and unique places, and the ‘treasure’ hidden in this world. One of the most popular treasure hunt of this world is Venice, which has been considered as the ‘travellers’ heart’ from the very past decades (Etherton, 2019). However, as mentioned earlier, as people could not resist the attraction of such romantic vibes and artistic melancholy of the place, therefore, the issue of over-tourism is continuously affecting and destroying the value of the destination. Every individual, including me, might experience several challenges due to the issue of over-tourism, and I am going to discuss about the experiences within this Venice tourism assignment that I have gathered, along with my experience, understanding, feelings, and future thoughts for dealing with it.
Explanation and Analysis
Description of the event: Venice is considered as one of the most popular medium-sized European heritage city, which is actually a part of the UNESCO World Heritage, listed in the year 1987 (Lagi, Corti, Meli, Pinto & Bartoloni, 2012). According to the report of National Geography examined herein Venice tourism assignment, Venice is the one place, who receives more than 30 million tourists every year, and the number is continuously increasing from the previous times. In the year 2017, the influx of tourist reached up to 60,000 each day, especially during the summer (Bertocchi &Visentin, 2019). One of the obvious reason behind this is the city holds the combination of an architectural as well as artistic masterpiece, along with some iconic marks, such as Saint Mark’s Square, Rialto Bridge, and Grand Canal (Etherton, 2019). At first, I also could not understand the concept of over-tourism in Venice. However, after arrival in the city, I have realised that the number of tourist population is excessively high as compared to the other tourist destination of the world. I would like to mention in this context of Venice tourism assignment that during my visit, I have already received some negative experiences, such as longer waiting time and moving around for getting affordable rented house, long time jammed water paths of the city, and so on. A most remarkable negative memory was I even could not properly see some landmark places due to the issue of over-crowding population.
Thoughts and feelings
Although there were many signs and symptoms of over-tourism in Venice, the point mostly attracted my concern were the jammed water paths and the presence of excessive crowd on the landmark areas. The Venice tourism assignment analyses the words of Hardy (2019) that the over-tourism can boil down a place while a larger number of people visit a place at the same time, and unfortunately, Venice is one of the prime examples of this. Most of the tourists, while visiting Venice, want to stay in the famous land mark areas, such as St Mark’s Square, Rialto Bridge, and so on, which ultimately started damaging the fragile building as well as straining its traditional infrastructure (Massiani & Santoro, 2012). Apart from this, I have also realised that the continuously deteriorating condition of the city also started inhibiting the local population, as they could not get proper resources, such as house, foods, or other materials for their survival. The statistics analysed to prepare this Venice tourism assignment show that where Venice receives almost 1,20,000 tourist in average per year, the number of residential people reaches to 50,000 only (Goodwin, 2017).
As being a recent visitor of Venice, I thought that it might be the best destination for tourists or can be considered as the ‘tourist heave’ of the world, our inhuman decisions create bigger issues for the city. As influenced from the viewpoint of Worrall (2016), I believe that most of the local and international travel companies can be blamed for the situation of over-crowding or over-tourism in Venice, as they only focus on the exclusive growth of their business without seeing the future impacts on the land and other resources. I believe that the travel companies only see the beauty of Venice as their ‘natural assets’ of business, and therefore, they represent all the things in a way by which they can attract more tourists and earn more money from the tourism business (Trancoso, 2018). This is completely my personal opinion, as I think that tourists are not the ‘basic pillar’ of the city, the city is actually developed by its residential people, their cultural mind, their ability of keeping everything conserved, and so on. Therefore, we, as tourists, do not have any rights to destroy the city’s landscape and make it less liveable place for the general population of the region.
Although the research carried on the Venice tourism assignment signifies that Venice is enlisted as a top-level heritage destination of the world many years ago, in the recent 2017-18 list, the city is also added in the list of UNESCO endangered sites, which is an obvious result of the over-tourism issue (Mortazavi & Cialani, 2017). There is no secret about the fact that, Venetians are struggling for managing their existence in their own city, especially due to the issue of over-tourism. However, according to the reporters, over-tourism is not only an issue of the bigger city or tourist destinations, it is also impacted in different other regions of the world. According to the statement of Tourtellot (2018), at present, the issue of over-tourism demonstrably maximises different problems compared to benefits. Over-tourism can occur in various forms, it can happen when either millions of tourists arrive at a same place and same time, or it can also be occurred when 20 more people appear in a small and rural community. Evidence shows that the most popular tourist destinations of the world, like Venice, are continuously affecting by the steady 6% tourist growth every year (Alexis, 2017).
Although the issue of over-tourism discussed in this context of Venice tourism assignment is not any new issue, it did not come into the headline until the year 2017 summer. The main reason behind this headline was not only the increasing number of tourists in different destinations like Venice, as this was not being considered as particularly dramatic at that time. The primary cause behind this was the presence of sudden backlash from the local residential populations, which was an unusual phenomenon, specifically at such larger scale (Simmon, 2020). Especially in Venice, I have realised that the sudden increment of the day-trippers becomes one of the potential issue, as it is an undeniable fact that people, who come in Venice, mostly have less time for seeing the beauty of this timeless city.
It is also a fact that the people, arrived for staying a few hours or for few days could not actually contribute in the economic benefit of this city. I have listened from some of the residential Venetians that they are facing issues in getting houses due to the sky-high property prices, as most of the landowners convert their places into some lucrative tourist accommodations (Seraphin, Sheeran & Pilato2018). Such increasing cost of the properties, along with less supply of other materials to the residential property owners forced the Venetians to move from the city and found out some new places. Along with this, the larger cruise ships are always roaming around the water paths of Venice, which ultimately creates the jammed paths and highly polluted water flow inside the city. I have seen it myself that many tourists try to swim in the canal water and start picnicking on the bridges.
Based on different reports, it can be mentioned that there are several adverse impacts of over-tourism spread across the city, such as absence of belonging, absence of places, increasing privatisation of public properties, increasing congestion, and so on (Mihalic, 2018). Apart from this, the continuous rise in the tourism businesses induced the speculation of real estate, along with dismantling the societal and cultural connectivity, detrimental usage of the coastal, rural, and urban spaces (Urban Ecologist, 2019). As mentioned in the earlier part of Venice tourism assignment, higher number of tourists are not only the reason behind such adverse conditions, the commercial practices of different tourism firms, policy makers, and destinations also play significant roles in this case. Apart from this, during the year 1960, environmental vulnerabilities have come out during the disastrous flood, which attracts the attention of different international community (Pesce et al.2018). I have also felt that Venice is also surprisingly vulnerable in case of climate change.
From the overall situation I have observed while visiting Venice, I can mention herein Venice tourism assignment that I felt that the situation is literally worsening day-by-day, and there are no such modifications observed among the travellers and tourist programmers about the continuous deterioration of the city’s beauty. Evidence suggests that although the continuous influx in tourist number brings overall maximisation in the economic level, however, it ultimately destroys the quality of Venetians’ lives (Visentin & Bertocchi, 2019). As the impacts of over-tourism, the lives of local population are being impaired from many angles, such as on any single day, they become forced for negotiating crowds and agreeing with the sounds of wheelie suitcases, selfie- trends, and even disrespectful behaviour from the outsiders. As mentioned in the earlier section, it becomes harder truth for the Venetians as they have to see that their loving city is continuously littering, without doing anything (Hanley, 2019).
From the overall discussion on Venice tourism assignment, I can state that the situation is not only negative for the Venetians or local residents of the city; it is also harmful for the tourists and traveller agencies. As influenced from the viewpoint of Hardy (2019), the continuously deteriorating natural beauty of the city might result in decreasing popularity and attraction. Apart from this, the high prices of properties make the city unaffordable for the middle-class travellers; therefore, the tourist destination would be limited for the high-income or wealthy people only. The deteriorating environment of Venice creates different health issues among the tourists as well as local residents, but unfortunately, people could not get enough resources for managing their health.
I have read in many previous and recent reports that Venetians often face issues in employment status, as they could not field any suitable work field other than the tourism. Such poor opportunities regarding employment often make the situation more critical, as residential people could not afford the rising living costs of property, living, and transport, which ultimately affects their overall living standard. Apart from this, I have also analysed that different other obstacles, such as vandalism, crime, parking space issues, pollutions, historical destructions, and so on also makes the city as a challenging place for both the local people and the travellers also (Coldwell, 2017). According to the statement of UNWTO Secretary General, it is noted herein Venice tourism assignment that an anti-tourist sentiment is evolving among the Venetians, which is now creating some serious situations in this heritage city. In reality, the expensive nature, impractical situation, and characterisation of the city as a ‘theme park’ create critical situations for the Venetians. Therefore, I think solving such issues in some serious and alternative way is essential, through including environment-friendly practices, stronger governmental as well as non-governmental regulations, and so on. (Urban Ecologist, 2019).
From the entire discussion about my personal experience shared through this report of Venice tourism assignment of visiting Venice and observing the issues of over-tourism, I have learned that the challenges are not limited for this specific destination only; this is a greater challenge for the global tourism industry. The issue of over-tourism could not be managed by single hand operation; it means that we could not reduce the over-crowded situation of any place at a single day. However, we need to try for gradually decreasing or putting some rules, regulations, and measurements for maintaining the environmental as well as socio-cultural sustainability standard. According to the statement of Giuffrida (2019), the over-crowded situation of Venice also reflects the fact that the fragile authoritative condition of this city is another factor behind the continuous damage. However, the positive point is that after enlisting the name of Venice as one of the endangered place of UNESCO, the authoritative bodies of Europe and local authorities of Venice started taking different actions for preventing the destruction of Venice’s heritage and cultural infrastructure (Visentin & Vallerani, 2018).
According to my understanding, it is stated herein Venice tourism assignment that reserving the heritage of the tourist heaven Venice requires contribution of every member and every people, like travellers, tourism companies, local people, and the authoritative body. In the year 2017, the Italian Government Committee has taken a decision of banning the cruise ships having over weight of 55,000 tonnes (Asero & Skonieczny, 2018). The over-weight cruise ships could not enter in the St. Mark’s Basin as well as Giudecca Canal from the year 2021. They have mainly taken the decision in the response of historical damage, local anger, and fears due to continuous pollution (Simmon, 2020). Apart from this, the research on the case scenario of Venice tourism assignment also signifies that the Venice’s mayor, named Luigi Brugnaro, had introduced some controversial steps for maintaining the city’s beauty and the managing the visitor’s number per year. He had announced in the year April 2018 that a systematic segregation would be included while the tourist crowd become excessively higher, especially in the popular landmarks of the city, such as St Mark’s Square and Rialto. For controlling the situation, the tourists would be diverted towards some alternative routes, except the local Venetians and the business personnel (Francis, 2020).
I think that the administrative or ruling authority of Venice requires providing some restrictions on the tourism companies also, regarding their marketing and other activities. Additionally, the tourists also require using the pre-booking services for parking their cars at some of the specific parking locations. A report stated that the mayor of Venice charged €500 from the travellers for using wheeled and noisy suitcases in the calm and quite historic places, loitering and littering on the landmark bridges, swimming in the canals, doing picnic in public spots, and wearing swimwear, especially while roaming in the city (CNN Travel, 2020). A recent report of CNN travel mentioned that now the administrative department of Venice is going to take the most controversial step, which is after 2020 September, the day-trippers of Venice requires paying an extra entrance fee, up to €10 for entering into the city(CNN Travel, 2020).
However, as per my opinion, I believe that putting the entry fee while entering in a city reduces the value of Venice, as it would slowly become a type of theme park for the travellers. This could not be the final step for preserving this heritage site. Therefore, it is noted in this section of Venice tourism assignment that as being a responsible traveller, I think every tourist need to take some responsibilities for stopping the destruction of the beloved place, through maximising the positives and minimising the negatives. Instead of boycotting the city visit, we can enjoy the view in off seasons, like winter also. We can connect with the local people, stay for several nights, eat, dress, and behave like them. I think respectful travelling is the best way of showing value to a new place and to the unknown population, and travelling through thoughtful way can support us in getting respect (Lundberg, 2018).
I have discussed my overall experience regarding the visit of Venice in the above sections of Venice tourism assignment along with its issue of over-tourism, my feelings, analysis, and the possible future options for keeping the city safe. However, unfortunately, I do not think that people, arriving in this city every year, have sufficient time for understanding the issue, and therefore, they could not take any resolving step for making the place beautiful. Therefore, as per the solution of Regional Spotlight, it can be stated herein Venice tourism assignment that only one solution could be placed here, as like the TajMahal of India, Venice should be removed from every promotional material or tourism booklets for preserving the cultural heritage of the city.
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