VENICE: A UNIQUE AND FRAGILE CITY
Venice and its surrounding lagoon environment have always shared a symbiotic relationship with each other in a delicate geographical and aesthetic equilibrium. It is for this reason that Venice and its Lagoon has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage property and considered a site of Outstanding Universal Value based on the criteria established by the Convention Concerning the Protection of Cultural and Natural Heritage (1972).
Venice is an extremely vulnerable city. For a number of years, it has been facing a critical situation caused by the impact of mass tourism, a factor that is also placing the integrity of its social and cultural heritage at risk.
A strategy aimed at promoting sustainable tourism, which can be adopted by everybody working in the sector, is vital for the protection of Venice. A framework of good practices that inspire visitors to acquire a deeper appreciation and a better understanding of the value of the city – and, in particular, its extreme fragility – must be identified, developed and implemented.
In order to obtain significant results, Venice needs everybody’s commitment!
Of the various professionals in the sector, authorised tour guides are those who communicate with visitors directly and at greater length. While illustrating the historical, artistic and social aspects of the city, they can contribute directly to raising awareness of the fragility of Venice and its lagoon.
Venice Tour Guides for Sustainable Tourism (in Italian, Guide di Venezia per un Turismo Sostenibile – GVTS) has launched a series of initiatives aimed at promoting sustainable tourism, cultural tourism and the safeguarding of Venetian works of art.