Would banning cruise ships stop Venice from sinking?

A Quora user recently asked: “Should Venice limit the amount of big cruise ships coming to the city centre?”

Here’s an edited version of my answer:

As I’ve already had the unforgettable experience of sailing in and out of Venice on a cruise ship — and, more importantly, because I know that many experts think the big ships are exacerbating Venice’s problems (i.e. the city is sinking and ships expose it to toxic chemicals) — it would be easy for me to say “yes”.

However, the cruise industry is a vast source of income for Venice, and its city officials are loath to see that stream of money disappear.

I’d like to see more study done on the environmental impacts of big ships on the city and the implementation of “greener” propulsion systems on cruise ships worldwide (which is starting to happen).

Hopefully, a balance can be found that protects, or limits damage to, the ecosystem and helps fund the upkeep and improve the livability of this vast historical and cultural treasure-trove of a city, as tourism undoubtedly does.

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