In July roughly 2,000 Venetians protested against tourism ruining their city, the knock-on effects of which include rising rent and pollution from cruise ships. Locals in the iconic waterborne city are leaving at a rate of 1,000 people per year, according to Carlo Beltrame, temporary spokesperson for the Gruppo 25 Aprile, the organisation behind the protest. He deemed the depopulation a "social tragedy," which also risks turning the city into "Disneyland."
Beltrame said that locals are most concerned with property prices and rising rent, while the government was focused on tackling antisocial behavior from tourists. Recent measures put in place to tackle tourist overcrowding include a ban on new tourist accommodation in the city center and people counters at popular sites.
Tourist numbers in Italy as a whole have been steadily rising in recent years according to the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), up 3.2 percent year on year in 2016 to 52.4 million.
"We wouldn't damage tourism, we would only control it," Beltrame said.