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Venetian transport leaves tourists high and dry - International Herald Tribune

VENICE: City officials on Monday launched a new waterbus line here with one particular feature: No day-tripper tourists allowed.

The new line - reserved for holders of the Carta Venezia pass - was introduced to lessen the impact of the estimated 20 million people who visit Venice each year on the city's beleaguered residents, numbering about 60,000 in the historic center at the end of last year.

"It's an extra service for residents who are forced bear the brunt of mass tourism," said Mayor Massimo Cacciari.

"It's evident that tourism is growing," the mayor said during an interview on the line's maiden voyage. "If people want to come to Venice they can come, but we have to allow residents to live better."

Marcello Panettoni, director general of the Venice transport authority, said the new line was a response to citizens' complaints that the hordes of tourists cramming onto waterbuses, with luggage in tow, had been leaving residents on dry land.

by Fran on Mon Jan 21st, 2008 at 11:20:32 PM EST
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