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Tuesday 11 January 2022

Meet the tourism drawcard that wants fewer visitors

Venice has had enough of tourists. Particularly day trippers.

Local authorities have announced they will introduce limitations on the number of people allowed into the city in an attempt to reduce mass tourism, Euronews reports.

Around 100,000 tourists a day were able to stroll through the city's squares until now. But in a few weeks, it will no longer be possible to visit the city freely.

It will become less city, more paid-for theme park.

Travellers will only be able to visit the city once they have booked their €5 tickets online. The tickets will only be valid for one day, with the aim of limiting the number of entries.

"The aim is to discourage one-day tourism, hit-and-run tourism, arriving in one day and leaving in the same day, tiring and stressing the city, and encouraging slower tourism instead," said Simone Venturini, the city's deputy mayor with responsibility for tourism.

The future gates to limit tourists have already arrived and will mean the main accesses to the historic centre can be controlled.

Five hundred cameras will be monitoring the flow of visitors, constantly broadcasting images from the streets in search of stray tourists.

The police will also be able to establish the identity of people in real-time thanks to data from mobile phones. Shades of Big Brother.

"If I enter the data in the aggregated anonymous form, we can see exactly who these people are: 977 foreigners, 800 Italians, 135 residents, and 139 commuters," revealed Maria Teresa Maniero, deputy commander at the Venice Police.

The system is also set to allow local residents to move around freely.

Last summer, Venicey banned large cruise ships from its historic centre to retain its UNESCO World Heritage status.

Image: Leandro Mena

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