The authorities of the dream city of Venice decided to start charging a fee to those who decide to visit it, as a way to compensate for what is considered a “overtourism” that ends up affecting said town.
With the decision to collect 5 euros, Venice It will be the first city in the world that will charge tourists to include it in their tour of Italy.
In this regard, it was noted that the city receives some 30 million visitors a yearfar above the 50,000 permanent residentswhile more than two-thirds of visitors come only for one day.
It was based on the fact that, in addition to making life “unpleasant for both residents and tourists,” excess tourism is exerting “pressure on infrastructure” from the city.
As happens in Lisbon or Barcelonahe “overtourism” is causing Venetians to move due to a lack of affordable housing, as landlords redirect long-term rentals toward short-term, high-profit stays.
Venice was built on a muddy swamp
Venice It was built on water, which provides it with part of its charm, but also its risks. The tourist explosion increased the number of boats in the city’s canals, causing waves that are eroding the foundations of centuries-old buildings.
Two years ago, the Italian government banned cruise ships from docking within the city center, in part because of the damage these large ships cause to buildings and the seabed. In August, the UNESCO threatened to include Venice on its list of World Heritage sites that are at risk due to “insufficient efforts” to preserve the city. It was clear that something had to be done.
In 2019, the Italian government approved a proposal presented by the municipal government of Venice for the introduction of a “contributory entrance fee” of 5 euros for those visiting the city for only one day. The goal is to make some tourists rethink their trip, and the idea is partly inspired by small Italian islands, such as Ponza, that charge a landing fee.
During the pandemic, the proposal was forgotten but recently received a boost and starting in spring 2024, Venice’s municipal government will apply the new rate for a trial period. According to the Venice Tourism Councilor, Simone Venturinithis test will allow policymakers to experiment with the tax, with the ultimate goal of making it permanent.
“We will test the rate during peak travel days, such as Easter weekend,” he said. venturiniwho explained that it will apply to visitors who come to Venice during the day and will only affect the historic center of the city.
According to a list of rules published by the local government, exempt categories include overnight visitors, residents of Venice and the Veneto region in general, family members of local residents, people coming for work or volunteer purposes, enrolled students in the universities of Veniceathletes visiting Venice for sporting events and children under 14 years of age.
Visitors will need to register on a soon-to-be-launched website and pay the registration fee. 5 euros. The portal will generate a QR code downloadable that will certify that entry has been paid and will be enforced by local authorities who will randomly check people and ask them to show the code.
If the authorities stop a tourist who does not have the code, he can pay on the spot. Even people who are exempt from paying, such as residents of the Veneto region, will need to register.