Venice is Tracking Tourists Via Their Own Cell Phones
Officials in Venice have begun using signals off the mobile phones of people passing through the city to gain insight into visitor volume in certain densely packed areas. This coincides with the busy carnival period, running from February 8 through 25
According to Lonely Planet, local authorities had deemed it necessary to accurately monitor the flow of visitors to Venice. The historic UNESCO World Heritage city is among the world’s most visited and has been struggling for some years to handle the plague of overtourism. Roughly 30 million tourists visit Venice annually. That is an average of 60,000 visitors each day, compared to the 55,000 locals who live there.
34 cameras have been installed along some of the city’s busiest streets to detect passersby, supposedly with the ability to distinguish children from adults and without monitoring people’s faces. Sensors are said to have the ability to intercept mobile phone data that indicates where the devices’ owners originate from and the duration of their stays in Venice. City officials said that all of this is being carried out “in absolute respect for privacy” and in order to form a clearer picture as to the numbers of people passing through each area.
This new measure has apparently been in the works for a while now and is only the latest of several policies Venice is implementing in an attempt to curb over-tourism.