>>> read Part I
by Nils Grube
In Venice, over the decades, Tourism has led to an “expulsion” of many locals, tells Francesca Perotto, who is responsible for the Venetian Government Tourist Board. “The pressure on the housing market increased dramatically – mainly due to the increase of tourist-occupied housing. Rising prices have forced many residents to move away.” Unfortunately, no city administration so far has found a solution to the problem, notes Perotto. “The biggest challenge is to develop a sustainable tourism strategy, which also satisfies the quality of life and mobility of the Venetians.”
The city administration is currently trying to slightly mitigate “the unstoppable wave of mass tourists” (Perotto) by supporting “quality tourism”. So visitors should be more aware of how unique, but also how fragile the city of Venice is. Via the website http://www.veniceconnected.com tourists are encouraged to plan their visit in detail in advance. The strategy is to distribute the crowds among the entire city. Through price discounts, for example, guests are encouraged to come out of season or to visit tourist attractions outside of peak-times.
© Claire Beesley
On the one hand, the German debate sounds like mockery, the Dutch newspaper correspondent Rob Savelberg considers. “Berlin loves its navel gazing” says the Journalist who is reporting for the daily newspaper “De Telegraaf” from the German Capital. “Here, and nowhere else is the center of the world. We should have a good self-realized, multi-cultural life, but not too many foreigners, even if they bring jobs and money in the bankrupt city with 60 billion euros of debt. “
On the other hand, the journalist admits that even in Amsterdam the fear of the consequences of the popularity of the city to foreign guests increases: “Mass tourism has destroyed a lot of flair.” Savelberg, who actually lives in Kreuzberg, explains: Everywhere you look around, you’ll see “howling drunk Englishman and Americans” – the representatives of “the generation of Easy Jetsetters”. The aggressive commercialism has “displaced many small shops and sub-culture” in Amsterdam. There are hardly any good or more affordable clubs.
The comparison shows that each of the indicated tourism impacts could be also found in other cities. And there are different approaches of strategies to solve the problems. Tourism is one of the most important economic factors of Berlin. And it will be a keystone for the future development of the city. The sheer focus on expansion and growth could not be a sustainable strategy. The type of management will determine how successful this development will be.
JOEL ALAS Stop blaming “party tourists” for Berlin’s problems (Tagesspiegel English / 09.03.2011)
LARS VON TÖRNE Von Besuchern überwältigt (Tagesspiegel / 24.03.2011)