Hundreds of cruise ships bring more tourists and business opportunities to Venice each year, but also increasingly cause irreversible damages to the fragile La Serenissima. In 2014, the World Heritage Committee of UNESCO threatened to put Venice on its endangered list and one of its requirements was to keep all big ships out of the Venetian lagoon. However, nothing much has changed after five years.
The latest plan proposed by the Venetian town council, in the wake of the collision incident in June, would stop cruise ships from sailing through the center of the town. Nevertheless, they are still allowed to enter the lagoon. This proposal has been firmly supported by the Mayor of Venice, Luigi Brugnaro, whose priority is to protect the business interests of the Port and the cruise economy.
However, the current plan will have
profound impact on when to raise the mobile barrier being built between the
lagoon and the sea. It clearly favors giving maximum access to the lagoon for
the ships over providing total protection for the city.