As part of a continued effort to protect the city from runaway tourism, the authorities in Venice have said they will prevent new holiday accommodation from opening up in its historic centre.

The proposed ban is the latest in a series of measures aimed at protecting the iconic Italian city, where the few remaining locals feel increasingly marginalised.

Massimiliano De Martin, Venice’s councillor for urban planning, submitted the plan to the mayor’s office and described the measure as essential “for the protection of the city”.

He told local reporters that hotels were increasingly taking over residential buildings in the city, pushing locals out and “running the risk of impoverishing the city’s social fabric”.

In 2016, Venice’s population crashed to 55,000 inhabitants. According to local media, if depopulation were to continue at its current rate, the city wouldn’t have a single resident by 2030.

This trend has put tourists on something of a collision course with Venetians, who have made their feelings clear by protesting against the influx of visitors. Some angry residents have even used gondolas to block cruise ships from sailing down the Giudecca Canal.

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