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Venice has been grouped with Timbuktu, Yangon city centre, and the cultural sites of Syria as being a biannual list of sites under threat by the World Monuments Fund’s (WMF).
The organisation, which is dedicated to the preservation of architectural and cultural attractions, said cruise tourism was behind the Italian city’s inclusion.
The WMF’s report said that many heritage professionals believe that the advent in the last decade of large-scale cruise tourism is pushing Venice to an environmental tipping point and undermining quality of life for its citizens. Such tourism has increased in the city by 400 per cent in the past five year’s along, with some 20,000 visitors per day during the peak season.
Venice is included… in the hope of inspiring a more penetrating analysis of the economic value of the large-scale cruise industry for the community, in relation to the negative impact that these outside vessels have on the city’s environment.
Nearly two million tourists arrived in Venice by cruise ship last year, entering and leaving via the Giudecca Canal, a body of water that skirts the Grand Canal and separates the island of Giudecca from Venice proper.