The Onslaught of Tourism in Venice. Hoteliers: “Regulate Short-Term Rentals Immediately”

Claudio Scarpa of AVA and tourists at Rialto
Claudio Scarpa, director of the Venice Hoteliers Association speaks out on tourist rentals: “The City should open a discussion with all of the city”

By Eugenio Pendonlini

4 October 2022

Limit short-term rentals or not? Raffaele Speranzon, the newly elected senator with Fratelli d’Italia, has already spoken his mind about the Pellicani amendment, which empowers the City to set rules to restrict short-term rentals: “Private property should not be touched”.

That position is shared by the associations of property owners, according to whom revitalizing a city that has now fallen below 50,000 residents (in the sestiere, not including the islands) does not require limiting the tourist market, but incentivizing work and young families.

Of a completely different opinion are associations such as Alta Tensione Abitativa, which is calling for urgent interventions to regulate a real estate market that has been “drugged” by the online platforms.

However, the hoteliers also work with tourism, with 19,000 beds in the city against the 21,000 available in tourist rentals, and they are now joining the debate in the city.

“Yes, putting limits on the rentals is necessary because the situation in Venice is overflowing, and people who are looking for an apartment to live in the city find the doors shut by homes destined to become tourist rentals”, says Claudio Scarpa, Director of AVA (the Venice Hoteliers Association).

For Scarpa, however, teamwork is necessary: “These limits, which I repeat are necessary, must be put in place together. A forum for debate should be opened, where the contrasts can be abandoned and common solutions can be sought. But doing this requires the intervention of the City.”

An invitation open to all, from citizen associations like Andrea Segre’s Alta Tensione Abitativa to Bre.Ve, which represents the owners of rental properties.

In his argument, Scarpa recognizes that both “factions” have their reasons. This is why, he says, a synthesis is needed. “The problem of the historic centers is one that concerns all of Italy and the world. The difference (in Venice) is that while in Rome you have to go a kilometer from the historic center, while here you have to go eleven kilometers, to another city. The homeowners are right to say that people leave the city independently of tourism: Venice is inconvenient and costly”.

“However, it must be said that the situation is now out of control. We understand, even hoteliers have apartments that they rent to tourists: there will always be a piece of the market that satisfies for example the needs of families, of those who want to do their own cooking. But we require a synthesis of diverse interests”. But what to do then?

There are many proposals, such as that of putting a time limit on rentals of only 120 days of a year.

Scarpa has another idea: “For example, we could more strongly protect those who have already rented homes and instead establish different rules for those who want to do so in the future. This is another proposal like any other, but enough fratricidal clashes between Venetians: we must make a synthesis, and for this, I repeat that we need the City”.

Source: La Nuova di Venezia e Mestre

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