Home World UK tourists defiant as strict new 'rules' in beautiful Italian city 'backfire'

UK tourists defiant as strict new 'rules' in beautiful Italian city 'backfire'

UK holidaymakers have continued to flock to Italy despite a new daily charge in one of its most popular travel hotspots aimed at curbing overtourism.

Venice introduced a fee for daytrippers and visitors last month, in a bid to incentivise visitors to avoid high-traffic periods, according to authorities.

Speaking at a press conference outlining the pilot programme, the city’s mayor Luigi Brugnaro said: “Our attempt is to make a more liveable city,” EuroNews reports.

But since it was brought in, the number of tourists has grown by 5,000, according to city councillor Giovanni Andrea Martini.

Martini said the measure, brought in by Brugnaro, has “resoundingly failed” as the World Heritage City continues to struggle with overtourism.

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It was hoped that the controversial scheme would see a drastic cut in the number of tourists visiting the city, and provide some relief to Venetians after years of heaving numbers.

“On Sunday, we had 70,000 visitors, compared with 65,000 on an equivalent day in the same period last year,” Martini said.

“This was a measure that was heralded as a way of reducing tourist arrivals but it has resoundingly failed,” he added.

Martini argued that the increased numbers of arrivals show that the ticket “has not in any way reduced the influx of tourists. In fact, the numbers are higher than last year,” he noted, calling the move “useless and damaging.”

“It has not saved the soul of the city. Venice has been treated as the goose that lays the golden eggs,” he insisted. “Private business interests have been placed above the interests of inhabitants.”

“Venice suffers from social desertification,” he claimed. “There are whole districts that have been emptied of Venetians. If this trend continues then it is a mathematical certainty that the city will die.

He said the city’s authorities need to bring them back to “restore the social fabric”, as “A living city is the only way to stem the advance of mass tourism.”

Mayor Brugnaro said: “The majority of people have understood that we want to protect the city. It is a measure that can be corrected or improved if necessary.

No one is pretending that it is not difficult, but we are trying to find solutions,” he added.


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