Venice. One of the world's most iconic cities. Millions of tourists visit Venice every year, but what to do the residents have to say about this tourism?
Once a thriving city with a large population of Venetians, Venice is now swamped by tourists, who greatly outnumber the local residents. On its busiest days, Venice receives around 120,000 visitors. This damages the fragile buildings, strains the infrastructure and prevents the local people from going about their business. It makes for a pretty disappointing travel experience for the tourists as well.
Thirty years ago, the population of Venice was 120,000. Today, it is 55,000. Demographers predict that by 2030, there could be no full-time residents left.
Then what is the solution? No permanent solution has been found to this problem, but there are some steps that you can take in order to help.
1. Be a responsible traveller. Don't litter the city. Avoid travelling on the large cruise ships that make port at Venice for only about half a day. Respect the artisan culture of the city.
2. Don't be day-trippers. Don't just visit the famous sites. Take some time out and explore the city properly. There is much to be seen even in the obscure alleys which only the locals know about.
3. Indulge in local experiences. Eat local food, listen to regional music and buy locally produced goods. It will help in improving the city's economy.
4. Travel in the off season. Venice has a haunting beauty to it in the winter, a time when the flow of tourists in the city is the least. It can also be cheaper than travelling in summer.