Tourism pushes Venice to 'tipping point'

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Cruise ship tourism to Venice has increased by 400 percent in five years. Photo: HarshLight/Flickr
10:27 CEST+02:00
Venice - suffering from an unsustainable level of tourism - has been added to a list of 67 global sites in need of protection by a foundation.

The city provides a "dramatic example" of a site under threat, according to the World Monuments Fund (WMF) which released its 2014 watch list on Tuesday.

"Large-scale cruise-ship tourism is pushing Venice to an environmental tipping point and undermining the quality of life for its citizens," the report said.

The WMF said that cruise ship tourism to the city has increased by 400 percent in the past five years, while there are around 20,000 visitors to Venice during peak season.

The foundation called for greater analysis of the economic value versus the environmental impact of the cruise ship industry.

The broader list included all heritage sites in Mali and Syria, including the Bronze Age citadel in the Syrian city of Aleppo.

Since it was set up in 1996, WMF has included more than 740 sites on its watch lists, which has resulted in €220 million being invested in their preservation.

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There are four sites on the list in England, including Battersea Power Station in London which closed in 1983, and six in the United States, including the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial in St Louis, Missouri.

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