We've all been a victim to tourist crowds at one time or another (even if, dare we say, we're sometimes part of the problem). Between photobombing our travel pics, taking forever to buy tickets for the subway, and walking way too slowly down the sidewalk, an overload of tourists is undeniably frustrating. However in Venice, overwhelming visitor numbers are actually ruining the city and the lives of the people who live there.
The city’s current population is around 54,000 — a number that's rapidly declining due in part to the influx of tourism. About 20 million people travel to the city every year, putting a lot of extra strain on not only the economy (many tourists are cruise ship day trippers, who don’t bring any extra revenue), but the infrastructure itself. The city is already prone to flooding, so a bunch of extra people only increases the risk. We love Venice, and would very much prefer that it didn’t sink, thanks.
So in order to reduce overcrowding, Italy is looking to introduce new laws that will restrict tourism by as early as 2017. This isn’t the first time Venice has tried to get rid of tourists; after the cruise ship ban was overturned in 2014, locals started creating barricades with gondolas to block cruise ships from entering the lagoon. A recent survey also found that 69 perecent of Venice residents think tourism should be reduced. So now the city's tourism councillor, Paola Mar, is proposing an online ticketing system to limit the number of travelers per year. Her reasoning for this controversial move is primarily to preserve the beautiful city, and honestly, we're all for it. Venice's iconic canals and historic monuments are some of the most gorgeous in the world, and they look a hell of a lot better when they're not overrun with crowds.
Yes, we all love traveling, but we also hate crowds, and more than that, we hate to see history destroyed by tourism. So if you want to avoid the wait list that's coming, best grab those plane tickets now.