Venice introduced a fee for a one-day visit to the city. In this way, the authorities hope to reduce the flow of tourists on weekends and during the holiday seasons.
Venice’s authorities are moving forward with their long-held plan to charge tourists for a day’s visit to the city.
They wanted to introduce a tourist tax at the beginning of this year. However, they decided to hold off due to logistical problems and fears that this would lead to a drop in tourism income.
The entry fee into the city is designed to reduce the influx of foreign visitors, encourage them to stay longer, and ultimately improve the lives of residents.
What are the new rules and when will they apply?
Why does Venice introduce a tax on tourists?
Earlier this year, Venice narrowly avoided being included on UNESCO’s list of hazardous sites due to over-tourism damaging its fragile ecosystem.
The member states of the organization took into account plans to introduce paid entry into the city, so they did not include it in the above list.
Venice Mayor Luigi Brugnaro said on Thursday that the measure was not being taken to generate additional income. He called it “a first-of-its-kind experiment” in regulating tourism flows in one of the most visited destinations in the world.
The authorities want to encourage tourists to choose not the “hottest periods” for excursions around the Italian city but to come on other days.
“We are trying to make the city more comfortable to live in,” Brugnaro said at a press conference on the pilot program.
When will tourists have to pay to visit Venice?
Starting next year, you will have to pay 5 euros to enter the lagoon city.
These will be charged on peak weekends and other days when footfall is particularly high, from April to mid-July. There are 29 such days in a year.
Guests will have to pay a fee to visit Venice during peak hours from 8:30 to 16:00. That is, those who come there, say, for dinner or an evening event, will not pay.
It is important to note that several exceptions apply.
Residents of the city, natives of Venice, students and workers, as well as tourists who have booked a hotel or other accommodation are not subject to the tourist tax.
How can I book a ticket to Venice?
On January 16, a website will launch where visitors can “book” their day in Venice.
After paying 5 euros, tourists will receive a QR code, which will then be checked at checkpoints at seven points in the city, including the main railway station.
Visitors who have reserved a hotel room will need to enter their reservation information to also receive a QR code to present at the checkpoint. They will not have to pay, since the hotel bill will already include the fee for accommodation in Venice.
How is Venice making tourism greener?
The local tourism sector has been hit hard by the pandemic. The authorities decided to restore it, following the concept of sustainable development.
In addition, their strategy involves creating conditions so that residents do not leave Venice. In recent decades, the outflow of Venetians to the mainland has not stopped.
Under pressure from UNESCO and environmentalists, the decision was made to ban large cruise ships from sailing past St. Mark’s Square and the Giudecca Canal.
The strategy developers are focusing on “long-term tourists”, to increase the length of stay of guests in the city, since then they tend to spend more.
The mayor of Venice admits that the new program will likely fail and adjustments will be required. However, he said, after years of research and discussion, the time has come to implement it.