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Venice has started to track tourists to combat overtourism


500+ Posts
"The system has the ability to track tourist data precisely and immediately. "This is the brain of the city," Marco Bettini of Venis, the company which built the system, told CNN. "We know in real time how many people are in each part [of the city], and which countries they're from." Among the information tracked is canal traffic, public transportation departure and arrival times, and pedestrian numbers — the latter is measured using CCTV cameras posted around the city and then combined with cell phone data that can show where visitors are from, based on where the phone is used as well as where it's registered. "

Next time you have the uncanny feeling you're being watched, you might be right.... ;)


500+ Posts
I suppose that the number of tourists without a cellphone would be quite small and inconsequential to the objectives of this data collecting.

I guess it's like all the other information being collected about us : if one does not personally experience abuse because of this, it just becomes another part of the routine technological background in which we live. Sometimes we even benefit from it.
Evading it can also supply a modern-day travel adventure for those so inclined.... ;)
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Ian Sutton

500+ Posts
But not everyone in Venice carries a cellphone...…..
I think they may be assuming that other nations are as addicted to their phones as Italians are ;)

I might have a phone, but I suspect they may struggle to track my old Nokia - a phone described to me by a retired anti-terrorism officer as the phone of choice for chief executives and drug dealers :jawdrop:


500+ Posts
Actually, I am all for this type of tracking, as long as tangible benefits can be shown, compared to the state of affairs beforehand, when conventional and less intrusive methods were used. If there are truly positive outcomes to this type of data collecting, then I am supposing that tourists will even be willing to participate in a more active and voluntary way in supplying additional info.

The major problem might be deciding at the local/political level what to do with the insights gained. The Venetians themselves are probably not in full agreement on what is the best policy for the city, otherwise we would have already seen some positive trends. With more and more locals leaving the city, it seems that simplistic solutions like the tourist tax and re-routing cruise ships are not enough.
I understand why they're doing this and it makes sense... but it still gives me the heebie jeebies to think someone is watching me all the time! But I visited Venice on one of my first trips to Italy before I moved here, and I really did not enjoy it much at all, to be honest. The amount of tourists all crammed in one place made it feel claustrophobic and took a lot of the fun out of it for me. So I guess I support combatting overtourism, I just don't know how I feel about the surveillance!

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