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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Venice regains title as jewel of the Adriatic tourist business
13 April 2006
Lloyd's List

VENICE has had its difficult years as a cruise destination; traffic collapsed during the Balkan wars and 9/11 also took its toll. But last year was in tune with the natural order of things, with this jewel of the Adriatic tourism industry posting sharp gains in passenger throughput.

The city’s passenger facilities handled 815,153 cruise passengers in 2005, up sharply on the 677,617 of 2004 and almost three times the 299,450 who crossed Venice’s docks in 1997.

With ferry traffic also rising, from 251,502 passengers to 446,376 following the capture of Anek from Trieste, offset only slightly by a drop in hydrofoil volume, from 108,336 passengers to 103,845, Venice enjoyed a record year, total throughput jumping to 1,365,375 from 1,037,375 in 2004.

Venice’s recent success has not come as easily as might be supposed for a uniquely beautiful city eager to market itself to an industry that is not only growing fast but is also eager for new destinations and new homeports.

Venice’s precarious allure is part of the problem. As a world heritage site that must be protected before it is exploited, new projects must be vetted, the urban and environmental impact of new traffic carefully assessed.

Roberto Perocchio, managing director of Venezia Terminal Passeggeri, says much work is being done to minimise the damage to the city from rising vessel traffic, although he concedes that the security fencing now required of the industry in a post-9/11 world does little to enhance a city such as this.

As he also says, however, the cruise business can be a vital source of revenue. Indeed a recently completed Venice University study demonstrated that, with a rising number of ships homeported in the city, the industry brings around €100m ($121m) in revenues into the local economy each year.

Buoyed by the results of that study, which Mr Perocchio says calmed many of the doubters, VTP is now pushing ahead with ambitious plans for the further expansion of its facilities. The consortium, led by the local port authority, has already invested € 15m in its main site on the edge of the historic city and just seven miles from Marco Polo airport.

Now it is poised to spend a further €10m, along with €10m more from the port authority. The investment programme includes the construction of a new 13,000 sq m cruise terminal at the Isonzo pier by 2008, the conversion of a warehouse for parking space, and the creation of an additional cruise berth along the Piave pier.

The revamping of the entrance to the terminal complex, with the addition of further parking space to accommodate growth in the drive-to market, is already underway.

Mr Perocchio says the expansion will give VTP sufficient capacity to handle growth until 2010, although with a maximum ship length of 295 m it must still solve the riddle of how to handle the giant cruiseships of the future.

He anticipates a 6-7% rise in passenger volumes this year, with Costa Crociere and MSC each a large and growing presence and the Spanish market “exploding” at an expected growth rate of 26%.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Costa Crociere leads Trieste cruise revival
13 April 2006
Lloyd's List

THE Queen Elizabeth 2 will return to Trieste this September and as symbols of resurgence go, Edgardo Bussani, director of the city’s economics department, could wish for nothing more.

The maiden call of the Cunard cruiseship in the city last year, mooring as it did almost in the main square, was an event for passengers, crew and citizens alike.

But it also signalled that the world’s great cruise lines are prepared to take Trieste seriously again.

The portents are better still this year. Costa Crociere has opted to homeport the Costa Marina in Trieste, bringing with it another vote of confidence, 15 sailings and as many as 18,000 passengers.

Mr Bussani says local power Fincantieri, with which Costa has a long and close relationship, played a role in bringing the Carnival company to Trieste.

And Costa is working hard to make the move a success, holding workshops for eastern European and Austrian tour operators in a bid to boost the customer base.

Economic growth in eastern Europe, and the entry of Slovenia into the Schengen group in October of next year, should improve Trieste’s prospects further. In the meantime, it is also developing itineraries with other ports along the eastern Adriatic in an effort to lure in cruise companies eager for new destinations.

Buoyed by Costa’s arrival, Trieste expects up to 60,000 passengers this year, more than double last year’s total. with Holiday Kreuzfahrten, Thomson Cruises and Crystal Cruises among the other callers.

MSC is also said to be interested in calling.

And Mr Bussani also sees opportunities in the megayacht sector, given the allure of mooring almost on Piazza dell’ Unita’ and the city a handy jumping-off point for overnight trips into eastern Europe.

He acknowledged, however, that further growth would depend on the planned enlargement and modernisation of Trieste’s cruise facilities, including a berth extension to 300m.

“We have to have the courage to invest in infrastructure. Growth is just around the corner but we must push forward now,” he told Lloyd’s List.
 

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hkskyline said:
Costa Crociere leads Trieste cruise revival .....
Finally the port and the city has woken up to the potential this place has for cruise tourism. It's about time ! Now the city needs better retail so that passengers will visit and spend money, as well as a coherent plan for the old port.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Venice wants St Mark's tourists dressed and tidy
Reuters
Fri May 4, 10:10 AM ET

Venice will deploy stewards in Saint Mark's square to prevent tourists from stripping off their T-shirts, taking a nap or dropping fast-food wrappers in the piazza that Napoleon dubbed "the drawing room of Europe".

Officials said on Friday they wanted to improve decorum and cleanliness in a square that has long been one of the world's biggest tourist attractions, bordered by St Mark's Basilica and Clocktower, the Doge's Palace and the Grand Canal.

"Six stewards, men and women, will explain to tourists that it is not a good idea to eat, camp out, lay down or walk around the city bare-chested," said the deputy mayor, Michele Vianello, adding that the stewards would not be handing out fines.

Wealthier tourists to the square sip their espresso in style at the Caffe Florian, which dates from 1720 and was frequented by the likes of Goethe, Casanova, Byron and Proust. But in a pricey city, many more opt for take-away refreshments.

Now the canal city is also working on laws to stop the sale of fast food in the square "to try to limit the amount or rubbish which is difficult for us to clean up", Vianello told Reuters.

The city, a protected UNESCO World Heritage site, has in the past taken action to ban young backpackers from sleeping on the steps of the Basilica.

(Additional reporting by Carlo Saccon)
 

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Nah, they're just humans like the rest of us...


I went to Venice a year ago this week alone, it was amazing. I stayed in the city for 5 days and explored, and was lucky enough to get back there a few months ago for a second time. Probably one of the most special places I've ever been, I can't wait to get back there once again.
 

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Venice wants St Mark's tourists dressed and tidy
Reuters
Fri May 4, 10:10 AM ET

Venice will deploy stewards in Saint Mark's square to prevent tourists from stripping off their T-shirts, taking a nap or dropping fast-food wrappers in the piazza that Napoleon dubbed "the drawing room of Europe".

Officials said on Friday they wanted to improve decorum and cleanliness in a square that has long been one of the world's biggest tourist attractions, bordered by St Mark's Basilica and Clocktower, the Doge's Palace and the Grand Canal.

"Six stewards, men and women, will explain to tourists that it is not a good idea to eat, camp out, lay down or walk around the city bare-chested," said the deputy mayor, Michele Vianello, adding that the stewards would not be handing out fines.

Wealthier tourists to the square sip their espresso in style at the Caffe Florian, which dates from 1720 and was frequented by the likes of Goethe, Casanova, Byron and Proust. But in a pricey city, many more opt for take-away refreshments.

Now the canal city is also working on laws to stop the sale of fast food in the square "to try to limit the amount or rubbish which is difficult for us to clean up", Vianello told Reuters.

The city, a protected UNESCO World Heritage site, has in the past taken action to ban young backpackers from sleeping on the steps of the Basilica.

(Additional reporting by Carlo Saccon)

First of all, they should renovate St. Marks Square. I found this the most dissapointing sight in what is one of the most beautiful and facinating cities in the world. St. Marks Square looks old and tired. Ok, I know it is old, but so are many other places in Europe that have had a decent facelift.

First, before they expect tourists to dress up, they should dress up the square.

If you go to Venice, make St Marks Square the last thing to see. The rest of Venice is so much nicer and more interesting... and less crowds.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Conservationists sound alarm about tourists flooding Venice as city urges visitors to behave
14 June 2007

VENICE, Italy (AP) - A message to visitors to Venice: No bare torsos in St. Mark's Square. No lounging on the monuments. And no feet dangling in the canals.

Henry James observed more than a century ago: "Though there are some disagreeable things in Venice there is nothing so disagreeable as the visitors."

Multiply that in the bargain-travel era: A whopping 20 million tourists are expected this year, and many are just the kind of day-tripper believed to wreak the most havoc on Venice's delicate ecology and architecture, without leaving behind a financial footprint that would help officials at least neutralize their impact.

"Venice has a cultural history that needs to be protected. The image of the city is being hurt by the napkins that are being left in St. Mark's Square," said Augusto Salvadori, the city official in charge of public conduct. He has launched the campaign to encourage tourists, and Venetians, to treat the city in a manner befitting its stature.

Salvadori has had signs erected around the city advising visitors: Don't picnic in public places. Don't treat the canals as if they were a beach. Don't write messages for fellow travelers on the monuments. Violaters face fines of euro50 (US$67), and the city has deployed enforcement stewards.

But such practical admonishments, while welcome, don't address the root of the problem, say conservationists and historians, who argue that Venice's image is cheapened by travelers who zip in, snap a few photos and zip out, without appreciating the city on a deeper level.

"The city is gradually assuming the stereotype that tourists have when they are here. ... From the tangible point of view, it is being consumed, dismantled by the confrontation with the customer-oriented attitude, which says, 'You are the tourist, the client, tell us what you want and we will give it to you,'" said Pierluigi Sacco, a professor of design at Venice's University IUAV who is active in the efforts to protect Italian art cities.

"That is very good for an amusement park, but not an art city."

Sacco's prescription is to raise cultural offerings to heighten tourists' commitment to the city -- augmenting the Biennale, a contemporary art show that draws several hundred-thousand visitors every two years, and the annual Film Festival held on the Venice Lido.

Venice Mayor Massimo Cacciari has ruled out charging an entrance fee to the city as unmanageable, but he is pushing Rome to reconsider a lodging tax of a few dollars on overnight visitors to help cover the costs of such services as trash removal -- which must be done by hand cart in many Venetian quarters.

Other proposals include preferential itineraries to help focus the tourist flow and adding more water buses.

The impact of mass tourism on art cities like Venice is gaining increasing attention throughout Europe, and is the subject of frequent conferences, including one organized in May by the Veneto Institute for Science, Art and Letters that attracted art historians from France and Italy.

In Venice, the emergency is exacerbated by its unique geography -- a lagoon city built on marshy land crisscrossed by canals. For decades, conservationists have warned about the impact of floodwaters on Venice. But now the warning is about the flood of tourists.

Their numbers are driving up real estate prices as palazzi get bought up and converted into tourist accommodations, driving native Venetians to the mainland and turning the city into a museum as stores that cater to locals' needs disappear with them. By now, Venice is a city without a low season.

"It should be a sustainable tourism," said Mieke Von Molle, director of the UNESCO-affiliated Association of Private Committees for the Safeguarding of Venice. "It is an important resource for the city, of course, but it becomes a bit oppressive. I hear the residents, the real Venetians, complaining."

Von Molle says she has heard reports of up to 150,000 tourists in and out of the city in one day -- more than double the city's population of 60,000.

Besides day-trippers staying in nearby cities, the number of people arriving on cruises has surged in recent years, officials say, making common the surreal sight of enormous ships passing through the broad Canal Giudecca as if navigating among the city's church domes and bell towers.

Alessandro Migotto, 47, joined the exodus of natives to the mainland seven years ago. He runs a delicatessen that caters to tourists 50 paces off St. Mark's Square and said if his father hadn't bought their store decades ago he never would be able to afford to stay in business with retail rents in the quarter as high as euro12,000 (US$16,000) a month. He said Venetians share the blame for the city's problems.

"It's a culture of 'not-my-problem,'" said Migotto. "I travel to Germany, Austria and Switzerland, and they tell people not to leave trash around. Here, no one says anything. It's our fault."

In the end, Venice will always beckon tourists, as it has for centuries. And for a visitor, there is nothing like sipping a beer and soaking up the view of St. Mark's Cathedral across the pigeon-filled piazza. Yvon Guillevic, a middle-aged French traveler, offered the first swig to a stranger who had shared a bottle opener and unwrapped a bread roll -- unaware that he risked a fine.

Guillevic, in Venice for the afternoon on a break from a business trip, said he could afford euro8 (US$11) for a small beer in a cafe, but considered the price a rip-off when he could buy a large bottle of Peroni for just euro1.70 (US$2.30).

"For me, it is not possible to visit Venice and not see Piazza St. Marco," said Guillevic. "My idea is to write a postcard, make a little poem."
 

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^ Alessandro Migotto in that article said it right "Venetians share the blame for the city's problems".

I love Venice, enormously, as anyone can see from my previous posts regarding this city. It is one of the most amazing cities in the world. There is simply nothing like it, and it really is a must-see-before-you-die place.

But the Venetians are blood suckers. From my experience, they are the cause of most of the problems in Venice.

* So many people eat picnics there, because the restaurants and cafe's are so expensive. When you go to a cafe or restaurant, they have a separate menu they give to tourists with prices at least double, some times triple what the locals pay. This is an unbelievable rip off. In all my travels I have never seen anything like this anywhere in the world. No wonder so many people buy snacks and eat walking down the street.

* Venice has a large ferry network to get people about. But like restaurants, they charge double to tourists what they charge locals. Or is it triple. I can't remember. But I checked their website, and the local's prices were so much cheaper. Why rip tourists off so much? Do they honestly expect respect from people they treat like scum?

* Hotels are also a rip off, which is why so many tourists pay for a hotel on the main land, and then do day trips there. If they didn't rip tourists off here so much, more would stay on the islands and spend their money there. It's not exactly rocket science - it's market reality. And then the idiotic mayor suggests they should increase taxes on hotels even more?

This is a real city. It's not a museum, so it should act like a real city. It's own management has been so shocking over the last 80years, it's no wonder why so many people have moved to the mainland.

And as this city now relies so much on tourism, you would imagine they would treat the very people that keeps them alive with some respect. Absolutely not, instead with a contempt that you have to see to be believed.

That said, you can still find some nice places with friendly people. There was one bar where they treated everyone the same, locals or tourists alike. It had fantastic atmosphere, incredible food, great wine and was really affordable. And guess where we spent a good deal of our nights.
 

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And as this city now relies so much on tourism, you would imagine they would treat the very people that keeps them alive with some respect.

Exaggerated!!!.....Venice and Veneto region is a very wealthy place,tourism or not!......anyway I'm agree about what you said.Really expensive like many other italian artistic cities.:)
 

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Exaggerated!!!.....Venice and Veneto region is a very wealthy place,tourism or not!......anyway I'm agree about what you said.Really expensive like many other italian artistic cities.:)
I was referring to the Islands of Venice, which without tourism would probably be a lot worse off than it is now.

The mainland is a different story, economically it has a very strong base. And yes, very wealthy. But god it's butt ugly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Venice on track for record tourism year: official

ROME, Nov 20, 2007 (AFP) - A record 20 million tourists are expected to visit Venice this year, while Americans have remained the largest group of arrivals, an official with the city's tourist office said Tuesday.

Visitors spending at least one night in Venice have numbered 8.7 million since the start of the year compared to 8.2 million for all of last year, said Federica Durica.

Since 2004, there has been a more than 30-percent increase in stays in the city known for its canals and gondolas, she said.

The number of tourists expected to visit the city from now until the end of the year without spending a night there has been estimated at between 11 and 12 million, the official said.

The ratio between foreign tourists and Italian visitors has remained constant at 80 percent to 20 percent respectively.

Americans continue to be the largest group of visitors with 1.15 million spending at least one night in the northern Italian city.

The number of Japanese tourists has declined by more than seven percent this year, while Russian visitors have shot up by 31 percent. Spanish tourists were up by nearly 18 percent and French visitors had increased by almost 11 percent.
 
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