Venice, Italy, tightened visits by mega-ships. Dubrovnik follows suit

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ByRick Deutsch

Venice, Italy, tightened visits by mega-ships. Dubrovnik follows suit

Dubrovnik is a fantastic walled city. Reminds me of Rothenberg in Germany. Both have a tall stone wall encircling the main village.  Thanks to visiting cruise ships, overcrowding is making life unbearable for residents … and tourists alike.  Venice is suffering the same problem and recently announced that they are starting to “cull the herd.” They are rolling out tourist rules and trying to get the cruise lines to limit the number of passengers allowed at one time to visit. Read our blog of August 12   for details.

As a World Heritage site, UNESCO may remove that designation unless the town limits the number of visitors to only 4,000.  Mayor Franković stated the need to improve life for residents. Most visitors get off the ship then flood the town’s tiny walkways, gawking and spending little money. Free food on-board is a big deterrent to buying an local dinner.

If things are not fixed, the town’s three gates could indeed be shut. Even stops by ships may be curtailed. Limiting dis-embarking (Editor’s note: If getting on is embarking, shouldn’t getting off be “barking?”)  on weekdays-only might prevail. Plans hope to be instituted in about two years.

Dubrovnik

Fairy tale Dubrovnik from the air

Think there is overreaction going on?  Check these numbers. In 2016, over 500 ships came in. That works out to almost 800,000 visitors.  In 2016, one day saw 10,000. It’s reported that resident population since 1991 has dropped from 5,000 to 1,157.  Sounds like the locals have had enough – just like Venice.

Me thinks Barcelona is next. Face it folks…7.5 billion people on earth…and many are retiring.

See these places now!!!!

I’ve been to all three – a few times – by speaking. Yes, free. You can to. Inquire how we can help you.

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ByRick Deutsch

Venice doubles down to stop rude behavior of visitors

We have spoken a lot about Venice.  Read our July blog that focus on moving the gigantic ships away from the islands with berthing at the mainland. Tenders will bring folks over from huge ships.

Step 2 is a beginning of a limit to the number of visitors allowed. Before they put in turnstiles, they are trying to be nice about it. BUT—> Tourists are ruining the place. It’s a cute town – but it’s not Disneyland. The locals are moving out to regain their sanity. At the end of WW2, 175,000 lived there. Today, all but 55,000 have left.

an Italian city

Venice tourist area

28 million tourists visit each year. For comparison, our most popular National Park – Great Smokey drew 11 million.

While you’d think the businesses love it – they do – but the quality of life has gone way down. People stay for a few hours, spend little money, put graffiti on the Rialto Bridge and dump trash like they are at home.  They enter St. Mark’s in flip-flops and hot pants.

 

City fathers are starting to clamp down. They are promoting rules in 10 languages.

  1. It is forbidden to litter or throw refuse in public areas, or places open to the public
  2. It is forbidden to be bare-chested or wearing swimwear. Men or women.
  3. It is forbidden to leave food wastes anywhere in the city.
  4.  Bicycles are forbidden in the City Center.
  5. It is forbidden to lie on benches, or stand at any time with camping equipment.

Our recommendation is to get there now – I’ve been 3 times on cruises.  YOU can to. See it while it’s still pseudo pristine.

Drop us a line with your experience if you have been there – or ask us anything about Venice.

 

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ByRick Deutsch

Venice Italy finally making progress on moving Giant Cruise ships

After multiple false starts and a lot of debate, it looks like the government is about to announce a major change to the way the mega-ships are docked. The Mayor of Venice is Luis Brugnaro and he said that the Chamber of Commerce has agreed to berth cruise ships bigger than 100,000 tons in the port of Marghera. It’s on the mainland – across from Venice.

Ship in Venice- Too BIG!

This would allow the behemoths to still service the classic city and not hurt Venice’s tourism and the daily life of residents. A June test vote was at 99% for ridding the endangered city of the giant ships.

A a recent Chamber of Commerce meeting, the mayor said: “I can announce that before the summer, the government will announce the solution to the problem of big ships.”
Venice, Italy and the problem of Godzilla Ships | The city is drowning in tourists

Two new slots will be constructed at Marghera in 2019. This would shift about 50% of the current load to Marghera. The docks at Venice could still be used for smaller ships.

Passengers typically spend little since they are visiting for only a few hours. Plus they tend to eat onboard the ships, rather than in town. A cup of coffee is one of their few expenses. Life for residents is not fun dealing with all the people gawking.

The pollution and water damage to buildings should improve soon.

OK – now you are up to date. Been to Venice? You might get a speaking gig and go free. Ask us how.

 

 

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