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New Hotels Might be Banned in Venice

News Venice, an internationally popular tourist destination, might prohibit the opening of new hotels in future. At least, that’s the idea of the city authorities that have been active recently. After banning kebab shops in the city and raising the question of restricting entry to Piazza San Marco, the local government considers prohibiting the opening of new hotels in La Serenissima.

The possible ban is still at the stage of discussion, but it might be confirmed soon. If that happens, developers will be not allowed to build new hotels, convert existing buildings into hotels, and even extend hotels that are already open. It is reported that exceptions might be allowed, but that will be made on a case-by-case basis.

The situation around the city, especially around the historic center, is getting more complicated. Many landmark buildings are turned into hotels, and that doesn’t comply with UNESCO policy. For example, in 2015, JW Marriott was open in the building of a former hospital. Stucky flour mill was converted into a Hilton hotel (the biggest one in the city), and a residential palazzo of Renaissance period on the Grand Canal was converted into an Aman hotel. Even Bauer, a local company, turned its signature convent into a hotel.

According to the plan, the ban would cover only the center of Venice. On other islands, such as Lido and Giudecca, as well as private islands, it will be still allowed to open hotels. The ban also doesn’t concern rental services like Airbnb, but there might be a separate regulation for them as such services have been under attack recently.

Next month, Venice will be discussed during the World Heritage Committee meeting. UNESCO plans to add the city to “at risk” list together with Aleppo and Damascus.


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