Venice, UNESCO and tourists: after two years, how to count the tourists remains unknown.

Only a partnership between the City, UNESCO and the Ministry of Cultural Heritage can guarantee a check and supervision over the sustainability of the tourist presence in the City, but for now it is not possible to know the necessary data for examining the situation, which has been analyzed by the responsible commission, led by Giorgia Pea at Ca’Farsetti.

Assessor of Tourism Paola Mar has explained that the data which could influence the study now underway are incomplete, and that for the moment it is not possible to respond to UNESCO’s requirement to know the number of tourists and therefore allow an objective evaluation of those visiting the city, who are not only a resource, but also an emblematic problem.

This declared “impossibility” has been criticized by Monica Sambo and Nicola Pellicani of the PD and Elena La Rocca of M5S, who see this delay as very worrisome (evidently the current technology is insufficient) and in opposition to the urgency expressed by the City.

The project, after two and half years of governing should be of interest to the relationship with tourism, via the creation of a device able to indicate the number of people entering the Marciana Area, as well as offer the addresses of specific services, and the times of year most accessible to those who want to visit Venice.

The advisory commission must address all of the questions in the document from UNESCO, which after having threatened to take the Lagoon City off the World Heritage Site list, conceded two years of time for the search for ameliorative solutions. First among these are supposed to be the defense of residential life and environmental management.

For her part, Assessor Paola Mar recalled among other things the positivity of the “Enjoy and Respect Venice” campaign, a sort of informational calendar for the tourist, to get them engaged and help them to knowingly choose when and how Venice stands ready to pay homage to its guests. Many things have been done, considered Councilor Maurizio Crovato, and others are in planning, but the road is still quite long, and UNESCO’s requests, instead, are pressing.

Venice waits for what will happen and for what could change the fate of a City of Water which possesses so much beauty along with just as many contradictions related to its uniqueness and heritage of Art and Humanity.

An accounting made by all the economic and cultural forces of the City could give to UNESCO, and not only them, a vision of a city that faces its contradictions with courage, but to do this, the conditions of a city that “lives” must be met, a City that has its residents at heart, that knows how to create harmony between the flow of tourists, transportation and the care of the environment, that knows how to create jobs and new opportunities. The continuing tourist offering, which is invading Mestre as well, cannot but negate all the good intentions.

by Andreina Corso

Source: La Voce di Venezia, 12 Oct. 2017

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