Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Venice Invaded by 'Low Quality' Tourists

This cracks me up. "Low quality." It's like Trump's attack on his "low energy" Republican rivals in the primaries, heh.

At the New York Times, "Venice, Invaded by Tourists, Risks Becoming ‘Disneyland on the Sea’":
VENICE — “You guys, just say ‘skooozy’ and walk through,” a young American woman commanded her friends, caught in one of the bottlenecks of tourist traffic that clog Venice’s narrow streets, choke its glorious squares and push the locals of this enchanting floating city out and onto drab, dry land. “We don’t have time!”

Neither, the Italian government worries, does Venice.

Don’t look now, but Venice, once a great maritime and mercantile power, risks being conquered by day-trippers.

The soundtrack of the city is now the wheels of rolling luggage thumping up against the steps of footbridges as phalanxes of tourists march over the city’s canals. Snippets of Venetian dialect can still be heard between the gondoliers rowing selfie-snapping couples. But the lingua franca is a foreign mash-up of English, Chinese and whatever other tongue the mega cruise ships and low-cost flights have delivered that morning. Hotels have replaced homes.

Italian government officials, lamenting what they call “low-quality tourism,” are considering limiting the numbers of tourists who can enter the city or its landmark piazzas.

“If you arrive on a big ship, get off, you have two or three hours, follow someone holding a flag to Piazzale Roma, Ponte di Rialto and San Marco and turn around,” said Dario Franceschini, Italy’s culture minister, who lamented what he called an “Eat and Flee” brand of tourism that had brought the sinking city so low.

“The beauty of Italian towns is not only the architecture, it’s also the actual activity of the place, the stores, the workshops,” Mr. Franceschini added. “We need to save its identity.”

The city’s locals, whatever is left of them anyway, feel inundated by the 20 million or so tourists each year. Stores have taken to putting signs on the windows showing the direction to St. Mark’s Square or Ponte di Rialto, so people will stop coming in to ask them where to go...
Heh, I feel the Venetian pain, lol. Maybe they should come hang out in Anaheim for a few days, and see how many Disneyland tourists they hit it off with?