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The historical and cultural significance of the city of Venice is not only fascinating to the history buffs but also travel enthusiasts alike. With breathtaking architecture, multiple waterways and one of a kind gondola rides. Venice is a mecca for tourists. But lately, the city has become the target of Europe's tourism crisis. Over tourism is depleting the city's resources.
In a recent announcement, the Italian government banned large cruise ships from entering the city. This breakthrough comes after a cruise crash in June this year. The government plans to reroute ships that weigh more than 1,000 tonnes. While some critics say that the cruise ships have eroded the foundation of the city, others are of the opinion that these cruise ships are the root cause of mass tourism to the historic centre.
The crash between the 900 ft MSC Opera and a tourist boat in Guidecca canal in June left four people injured. The collision in addition to the long running protests by the plocals asking for a ban on big ships altogether led to the government's decision to reroute cruise ships away from the central part of Venice.
The narrow canals and overcrowded waterways have been a subject of discussion for a few years now. The recent ban follows the Italian government's decision to prevent ships from docking in front of St. Mark's Square. As per the government's new plan, some ships will dock at the Fusina and Lombardia terminals but by next year they will be rerouted away from the city.
Amidst all this, the main concern of conservationists is the massive tourism that has led to the downfall of the city. Despite several warnings issued by the UNESCO to curb tourism, the city's culture and heritage remains endangered. While some have taken an extreme stance on the issue calling for a complete ban, for others, promotion of eco tourism seems to be the answer.
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