Cruise

Venice cruise ship reforms to have limited impact, expert says

Stopping cruise ships from docking in Venice’s historic city centre will have a limited impact and move overtourism to new areas, according to one expert.

Following recent news that Venice is looking to reroute cruise ships weighing more than 1,000 tonnes away from its city centre, GlobalData associate tourism analyst Ralph Holllister said doing so will give local residents the impression that their complaints have been taken on board.

“However, it is probable that redirected tourists will commute to the central islands via large coaches and taxi services instead,” he said.

“This will spread the issue of overtourism to new areas outside of the centre, creating traffic congestion that will pollute suburban areas.

Hollister said the combination of utilising ports away from central Venice and a new measure requiring day-trippers to pay an entrance fee up to $11 from September are unlikely to effectively combat overtourism.

“Mass visitation remains important for the local government,” he said. “Tourism is worth 11.4 per cent of Venetian GDP.

“The local government may continue to ride the tourism wave until the effects become irreversible to the city’s fragile structure.”

According to the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), some ships could be rerouted to the mainland Fusina or Lombardia terminals until the end of the year, but a decision is yet to be made.

The renewed focus in rerouting cruise ships away from Venice’s city centre follows public protests and a crash in June which left five people injured.

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