Sabtu, 06 Agustus 2011

The Impact of Tourism on Venice

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As a destination Venice has many strengths but it also has weaknesses. Opportunities for developing the tourism product are strictly limited, and the unique qualities of the resource are under threat for a number of reasons.

Venices popularity is itself a major problem. More than 50 000 visitors arrive in the historic city each day during the summer. The great majority are excursionists or tourists on a tight budget, whose contribution to the city economy may be minimal while adding to its costs in litter disposal, policing etc. Venice is in danger of becoming a museum-city for tourists. Venetians allege that the regional culture is being neglected in favour of Neapolitan music, which foreign tourists regard as more typically Italian. The resident population of the historic city is now less than 80 000, half what it was in the 1950s (or the sixteenth century for that matter), and the decline is accelerating as Venices environmental problems increase. The social composition of the population is also becoming less balanced. Middle income families continue to move to Mestre on the mainland, where most of the job opportunities outside tourism are to be found. This leaves the historic city to the wealthy, who can afford the upkeep of expensive palazzo-apartments, the elderly and those on low incomes, who are unable to leave.

The City Council has given serious consideration to imposing a quota on the number of day visitors. In 1989, they tried to ban backpackers from sleeping rough in the citys few public open spaces, but later revoked the law when it proved unworkable.

Venice is built on foundations consisting of billions of timber pilings driven many centuries ago into the mud of the Lagoon, and these pilings are slowly eroding.

Venice has always been subject to flooding, but the problem is getting worse due to the rise in sea level brought about by global warming. The combination of high tides and storm surges in the Adriatic has led to St Marks Square being flooded much more frequently than was the case in the 1950s. Although Venetians have coped with the flood risk by, in effect, abandoning the lower floors of their dwellings, great damage has already been done to the fabric of many buildings, which are slowly sinking into the Lagoon.

The 1966 flood disaster alerted the world to the possibility that the city would have to be abandoned. The Venice in Peril Fund was set up to coordinate international efforts in the work of restoration and salvage, and to galvanize the authorities into action. The Italian governments response has been to propose the construction of huge movable floodgates across the three entrances to the Lagoon, saving Venice by closing it off from the Adriatic during periods of exceptionally high tides. This has attracted widespread criticism as a quick-fix solution because:
_ The project is not cost-effective, as the savings in the costs of flood damage do not justify the vast expense.
_ It would disrupt navigation into the port of Venice. Considerable investment has taken place to improve port facilities, including the dredging of a deep-water channel for oil tankers (which itself has upset the balance between salt and fresh water in the Lagoon). The scheme would accelerate the silting up of the shipping channels.
_ It would aggravate the build-up of pollution in the Lagoon.

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7 Agustus 2011 03.37

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7 Agustus 2011 03.38

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7 Agustus 2011 04.22

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