Venice is currently experiencing a breather from mass tourism by the cruise ships. However those tourists with a lot of purchasing power who usually stay for several days in the city are missing and therefore, many hotel rooms are empty. There is no doubt, the tourists will soon come back and therewith, their behaviour has a very strong effect on the everyday life in the city. Therefore I would like to plead at this point that we all as guests in this beautiful city: behave respectfully towards the inhabitants! Venice is no Disneyland.
Here is a swivel from my field research. I will take up different aspects of my research in short contributions. While shopping for groceries in the morning I met a resident who told me about the challenges her two children face when they take the vaporetto (the public water bus) to school. She told me that her children get to school in the morning without any problems, but in the afternoon, when the masses of tourists are riding the vaporetto, her children often don’t get in and nobody comes up with the idea to make room for them. So they often have to wait for several water busses until they come home. The situation is similar for older residents. The average age of the islanders is fifty years – and rising. There is a separate area for people over 70, people with disabilities and pregnant women. Especially the older passengers are to be looked at, as they are often very old and somehow manage to find their way through. A very common phenomenon is that many visitors do not notice that people live in the historical centre of the city. My interview partners were often confronted with the fact that they were looked at in disbelief when they told me that they live here. Currently there are 52,000 inhabitants still living on the „fish“. They are confronted with the fact that more and more public infrastructure is being privatized or used for tourist purposes. This affects schools, kindergartens, hospitals and other institutions. The city has launched an initiative to which I would like to refer at this point #EnjoyRespectVenezia Venice is dependent on tourism, but sustainable tourism.
Ein kleiner Auszug aus meinem Forschungstagebuch zusammengefasst für den Forschungsblog. Ich werde ihn Stück für Stück erweitern.