Venice city center alone has enough hotel rooms to house more than 47,000 guests.
Venice city center alone has enough hotel rooms to house more than 47,000 guests.

Venice Moves to Ban New Hotels, Restrict Tourists

Venice Moves to Ban New Hotels, Restrict Tourists

In its latest move aimed at cutting down on excessive visitor numbers, the Venice mayor's office on Thursday gave the green light to a ban on new tourist accommodation in the city's historic center.
Venetian councilor for urban planning, Massimiliano De Martin, who submitted the proposal, said the measure was essential "for the protection of the city", The Local reported.
"In recent decades, the ancient city of Venice has been affected by a growing pressure from tourism," explained De Martin.
He added that hotels were increasingly taking over former residential buildings "at the residents' expense, running the risk of impoverishing the city's social fabric".
According to council estimates, the city center alone has enough hotel rooms to house more than 47,000 guests.
Venice has in recent years seen a fall in permanent residents, largely due to the huge numbers of tourists who descend on the lagoon city. If the depopulation were to continue at its current rate, the city would no longer have a single permanent resident by 2030. The new ban would prevent hoteliers both creating new hotels or B&B's, and expanding existing ones. Instead, they would have to submit applications to the council who will make decisions on a case-by-case basis and use a strict set of criteria.
Companies or individuals that have already received permission to open up a hotel will not be affected, and neither will those on the lagoon islands of Tronchetto and Giudecca. Venice's City Council is expected to make a final decision on the adoption of the ban next week. Tension between locals and tourists has been brewing for years, and flyers reading "Tourists go away! You are destroying the city" were distributed across the center last summer.


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