Last month, Venice faced the worst high tide in 50 years. It was an unprecedented situation and left tourists floundering in the waters. The streets were flooded and the strong wind led to waves in St Mark’s Square. The tide-monitoring center confirmed that the high water peaked at 1.87 meters on 12 November. There was panic among tourists and the tourism industry now finds itself at the receiving end of bad news. The city’s hoteliers association says there is a drop in hotel reservations to the extent of 45 percent.

The Guardian quotes Vittorio Bonacini, chief of the Association of Venetian Hoteliers, as saying - "This did not even happen after the attacks on the Twin Towers.” The net result was loss for hotels. They had to resort to the cancellation of events, conferences and major initiatives, which were in the plans of next year.

Tourism takes a beating

Bonacini says people have a misconception about these high tides.

He explains that the city of Venice is more than a meter above sea level. Therefore, when there are talks of a 1.30-meter high tide, the level of water is only 30cm. He adds that this does happen but only in some parts of the old city and things become normal within a few hours. Hence, people need not panic. However, those who were present at the scene had to endure the suffering and word spread via social media platforms.

Venice is undoubtedly a major Travel destination. The Guardian provides statistics that reveal more than 31 million tourists visited the city last year. The majority of them (nearly 20 million) were single day visitors and the remaining put up in hotels. The city must draw up strategies to ensure its tourism potential does not suffer.

Officials worried about Christmas and New Year

According to Telegraph UK, after the flooding of Venice, tourists from around the world are shying away from traveling to the Italian city and its gondola rides. Hotels are witnessing huge cancellations and tourism officials are worried about the forthcoming season of Christmas and New Year. Marco Polo airport also reports a considerable drop in traffic after the flooding. Incidentally, the high tide last month set a record of sorts. It left gondolas marooned on the banks and tourists had to struggle through murky water that was waist-high.

Of course, locals explain that the city does not remain underwater for a long time.

There are incidents of high tide but it becomes normal within a few hours. In fact, high tide at breakfast can recede and be dry by lunchtime. Anyway, the lack of tourists will have an effect on the local economy. A section of Venetians feels a decline in the volume of day-trippers and cruise ship passengers would be welcome rather than a drop in hotel bookings. They argue that those who stay overnight in hotels contribute to the local economy more compared to those who stay just for the day.

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