Venice’s awareness campaign #EnjoyRespectVenezia constitutes food for thought for the MED Sustainable Tourism Community and the sustainability of tourism in Mediterranean destinations as a whole, as it provides different measures from sustainable itineraries to recycling guidance in order to ensure a viable and sound stay for both the tourists and the Venetian environment.
(Rome, 21 March 2019) “A sustainable tourism - not altering the natural and artistic environment, and not obstructing the development of other social and economic activities in harmony with the daily life of residents - is necessary to preserve the extraordinary beauty and uniqueness of Venice” is the motive driving the City of Venice to ensure the sustainability of tourism, as stated on its official tourism website. This is also the objective pursued by the MED Sustainable Tourism Community whose projects, of which Venice is part, aim at ensuring a viable and sound stay for both the tourists and the Venetian environment.
Some measures have been taken by the city of Venice and corroborate the work of different projects within the MED Sustainable Tourism Community. This is the case, first for the discovery of the Venetian local cuisine and the traditional dishes, something on which the MEDFEST project is also working in eight other sustainable tourist destinations in the Mediterranean area by developing actions plans based on Mediterranean culinary heritage experiences; as well as for recycling indications and guidance for tourists staying in apartments provided by the city of Venice, something on which the BLUEISLANDS project is also working focused on seasonal variation of waste as effect of tourism in the Mediterranean islands.
Other measures, such as providing tourists with sustainable itineraries through a “detourism” campaign mirror the objectives of the ALTER ECO project, in which Venice actively takes part, and aims at developing alternative tourist strategies to enhance the local sustainable development of tourism by promoting Mediterranean identity. As stated specifically for the City of Venice within this project: “Venice is one of the most sought-after tourist destinations in the world so that it is reached by over 4.600.000 tourists per year. Given its fragile naturalistic and sociocultural ecosystem, the greatest challenge that Venice is facing today is linked to the effects of mass tourism and tourism monoculture that are reflected in a constant decline in the number of residents, problems of overcrowding and congestion, loss of local values and traditions, detriment of the authenticity of local products and in general a decrease in the quality of the tourist attractions that this beautiful city is able to give to the whole world.”
This postulate explains the current public debate focused around the fixing of a maximum number of tourists identified through the development of a DSS that allows to identify the optimal level of tourist pressure that is bearable for Venice and to outline the appropriate tourist strategies, such as the possible introduction of a charged ticket to enter Venice city center.
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