After the devastating flood in Venice, hoteliers in the Italian lagoon city have complained of a dramatic drop in hotel bookings. There has been an unprecedented slump in reservations since mid-November, said the head of the Venetian Hotel Association, Vittorio Bonacini. 45 percent of hotel bookings had been canceled in the past 30 days.
Even after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, when tourism slumped worldwide, the declines were so blatant, said Bonacini. His association had to cancel events and conferences that were planned for the coming year.
In mid-November, Venice was hit by a record flood. On November 12, the floods reached a 50-year record level of 1.87 meters above sea level.
No danger for children
Bonacini complained that there had been misunderstanding about this number. For example, tourists from the USA called the hotelier association and asked whether a child with a height of 1.50 meters was in danger in Venice. The lagoon city is more than a meter above sea level, Bonacini emphasized. If there is talk of a flood of 1.30 meters, this means that the water in Venice reaches a maximum level of 30 centimeters.
- Read an interview here with Bishop Francesco Moraglia about the damage to the Basilica of San Marco.
In addition, the so-called Acqua Alta only lasted an hour and a half on November 12 and the situation normalized within a few hours, said Bonacini.
According to the Hotelier Association, more than 31 million tourists visit Venice every year. However, the majority of them are day tourists - only 11.5 million therefore stay in one of the 274 hotels in the historic old town.