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Sustainable Tourism in Venice Supported by Prontopia Helping with 300 Bag Clean Up of Trash from Venice Lagoon

December 13th, 2019 by Prontopia

Santa Barbara, CA, based startup Prontopia coordinated with local organization Associazione Alberoni on March 24 to create clean up the shores of the Venice lagoon and create awareness of overtourism issues in Venice Italy.


On Sunday, March 24, California travel tech startup Prontopia, in coordination with Associazione Alberoni, collectively as a team of 200 Venetian residents joined together to clean up over 300 bags of trash from beaches in the Venice Lagoon at Lido di Alberoni. The theme of the event was “Toppling Castles of Plastic.” The majority of the trash collected was plastic. According to the Institute of Marine Science – National Council of Research, “Recent studies have highlighted that there is a massive spread of trash in all world seas, especially of plastic, which is 70% of it.” Highlighting the need for awareness of ocean conservation in high-traffic tourist areas like Venice, Italy, is of paramount importance to implementing sustainable solutions.

Prontopia’s vision for responsible travel and sustainable cities centers on a community model of people helping people. The company’s innovative app provides on-demand help to travelers in walkable cities, when and where they need it. As a peer-to-peer platform, they value the opportunity to raise awareness about local problems of overtourism and contribute to grassroots solutions among travelers and residents.

“A cleaner community is a happier community and we should all take pride in the places we live.” Davide Poletto, Project Officer of the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe Venice, notes that the, “Venice lagoon, for its conformation, nature and specially for the high impact human activities coming from massive tourism and in its continuous growth, is specifically exposed to the diffusion of plastic trash and relative micro-plastics.”

Prontopia is an app that connects travelers with vetted on-demand locals who arrive by foot to provide expert assistance any time the need arises. The locals on the Prontopia app know the best way to get to city lodging and meeting points, or to a departure point on time when door-to-door by car is not an option. Using Prontopia takes the stress out of transitional moments in travel when a smile and knowledgeable support from a Local, as if you are met by a long lost cousin, make all the difference. The app works like Uber, but without cars, with an emphasis on the importance of human connections in the city, and is available today in Venice, Florence, and Rome, Italy.

The initial launch city, Venice, Italy, was selected because it is the quintessential pedestrian city, where truly one must walk to get to where they need to go. In Venice, visitors often encounter stresses that they could not have anticipated until their arrival. Just a little bit of help getting from point A to point B, or finding a simple comfort in an unfamiliar city, goes a long way when traveling abroad.

In Venice, Prontopia engages with local organizations and businesses in proactive change efforts to ensure the city remains a living city for residents, creating measurable solutions to the problems of overtourism. “We knew that by providing these local connections in the service, we would have a golden opportunity to also provide a model for corporate responsibility,” said Prontopia Founder and CEO, Shannon Kenny. “When travelers connect to locals in a way in which they are oriented toward respect – extending a hand to say ‘Welcome to the city, I live here,’ – that is the first step toward global citizenship, and caring about the place.”

Kenny continues, “We are incredibly proud as a company with the amazing number of our Prontopia Locals who participated in the Venice lagoon trash clean up. What I appreciate the most about this event is the heightened awareness it raised in traveler understandings that we should try to leave no trace wherever we are. If we all travel conscientious about the local problems of pollution around the globe, we can leave each city a little better than we found it. This is our biggest hope for Prontopia.”

Today in Venice, Florence, and Rome an exceptional community of Prontopia Locals enjoys helping visitors to the city with getting where they need to go easily. Along the way, travelers can learn special details about local life, and discover unique places to eat, shop, and learn about local culture and daily life. The economical service is available for as little as 15 minutes, at a pay-as-you-go rate equivalent to 20 euro/hour.

In addition to practical help, the Prontopia app is a unique opportunity to get to know the city from the perspective of a local. The app serves as a citizen platform, empowering local citizens to use tourism to make their city a better place to live. According to the UN World Tourism Organization, treating visitors as “temporary residents” helps ensure that residents, hosts, and guests all serve the common good by relating to each other respectfully. This perspective helps prevent problems of overtourism, occurring when the interests of tourism override those of the local community.

Tags: Venice, Florence, Rome, Travel Apps, Overtourism, Responsible Travel, Prontopia, Walkable Cities, TrashTag, TrashChallenge

For further info in English, contact: Shannon Kenny, shannon(at) +1-805-680-7913 For further info in Italian, contact: Ilaria Nardone, ilaria(at) +39 3407888444


Prontopia is an online service that provides friendly, in-person help from pre-vetted local assistants in city centers in Italy, Spain and the U.S.

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