Tourism At What Cost?

Tourism in Italy (like many places around the world) is unstoppable. Record-breaking tourist flows have made managing the incoming numbers of visitors challenging and the traveler experience has suffered. Residents in popular “hot-spot” feel like mass tourism is compromising their quality of life and places their territory at risk, in the long run.  

The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has written numerous white papers on the need to address overtourism and experts around the world have attended highly-publicized international round-table discussions about the problem. Entire conferences have been dedicated to it – but practical, hands-on solutions have not emerged.

Hence – DG’s proposal for a new tourism model. 
Come hear about it!

JOIN US in Chicago on
November 5, 2018, 10 - 8:00 p.m.

Italian Cultural Center
500 N. Michigan Ave.

Murano & Matera - Giving Residents a Voice will explain how our Locals-First approach calls on each “player” in the tourism arena: travel professionals – media – travelers – and local residents to accept a shared responsibility in creating a positive tourism scenario for Italian destinations, their local populations and their visitors.

"Attracted by noir detective series and fashionable cuisine, nine million tourists last year visited this city [Copenhagen], a record for Denmark, which has fewer than six million people." -Elizabeth Becker, ex-NY times journalist

Elizabeth Becker is the author of the book "OVERBOOKED", an exposé on the travel industry that came out in 2016. The quote is from her New York Times Article, “The Revolt Against Tourism.”

Tourism at What Cost?

"Imagine – more tourists than residents!" -The New York Times

"The permanent population of Venice is less than the number of tourists that flock to the city each day!" -The Local

In Venice, “the tourists have actually contributed to more than 100,000 residents abandoning the city: the resident population has gone from 175,000 registered post WWII to around 55,000 today." -The Guardian

Not to mention the Cinque Terre, where 2.5 million visitors in 2016 placed the enormously popular location in Liguria at risk and other precious heritage sites throughout Italy where local governments are thinking of limiting the number of visitors.

Is it really feasible to sell tickets to enter cities or famous piazzas like San Marco’s?

Divertimento Group sees tourists’ choices to visit hot-spot locations off-season or avoid them altogether as an enormous contribution to combating overtourism in Italy.  Of course, if you are a “first-timer” no one expects you to bypass Rome, Florence, or Venice altogether – but you can plan off-season or off-peak-hours for visiting popular sites. Many Italy enthusiasts have seen the “standards” numerous times and would be willing to visit off-the-beaten track, spectacular hot-spot alternatives.

Please join us for our November 5th event to hear about our new tourism scenario and Murano & Matera of the future - with a new Locals-First approach.

Event is sponsored by Italian Government Tourist Board (ENIT) and the Italian Cultural Center

For more information or to receive an invitation, write lesley[at] or estelle[at]


MURANO Workshops and Private Tutorials

Our Glass Tourism Division is creating cultural exchanges and small group full immersion courses or private sessions on the island of Murano! No other travel company in the world can combine travel-educational opportunities with internationally acclaimed Murano Maestri (for more info write Lesley[at]