‘Nothing less than a catastrophe’: Venice left high and dry by coronavirus

As destinations around the world face unprecedented challenges, we ask local people working in tourism in Venice on how they are coping

Few destinations in the world are as closely tied to tourism as Venice. Last year the city ramped up measures to deal with the impact of over-tourism, until the unprecedented acqua alta flooding in November brought the Unesco-listed city to its knees. The financial repercussions of the flood reminded everyone that tourism of some kind is still vital to keep this unique city afloat. Then the coronavirus crisis arrived, initially cutting short the February Carnival, which traditionally kicks off the tourist season. Now, along with the rest of Italy, the entire city is in lockdown, with restaurants and bars shuttered, hotels closed, flights and international trains suspended. With no tourists left in town, what do Venetians whose livelihoods rely on tourism think the future holds for them?

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