Over crowded streets in Venice, Italy

Venice Imposes Tax to Combat Overtourism!

On April 25, 2024, Venice introduced a new tourism tax aimed at reducing overcrowding.

This initiative marks the start of a pilot program that charges day-trippers €5 on peak weekends and select days through mid-July.

The tax was introduced to preserve the city’s fragile ecosystem, which nearly placed Venice on UNESCO’s danger list last year. Venice authorities hope the fee will encourage tourists to visit during less congested times.

The fee is only required during peak visiting hours from 8:30 am to 4:00 pm, covering 29 days between April and July. Signs have been erected at major entry points around the city to inform visitors of the new charge.

Tourists can purchase their entry tickets through an online payment platform, which provides a QR code needed to pass through seven designated entry points. Around 200 stewards have been trained to assist tourists with the new system, including setting up a kiosk for those without smartphones.

Random checks for QR codes will be conducted at these entry points to ensure compliance. Violators of the new tax regulation face fines ranging from €50 to €300.

The mayor of Venice, Luigi Brugnaro, emphasized that the tax is not intended to generate revenue but to regulate tourist flows and make Venice more livable. The city’s tourism official, Simone Venturini, echoed this sentiment, noting the need to find a balance between tourists and residents, as reported by Euronews.

The new system exempts several groups from the fee, including residents, students, workers, and tourists with hotel reservations. These measures aim to prioritize longer stays over quick visits and ensure that tourism does not disrupt the local community.

Venice has taken additional steps toward sustainable tourism following the COVID-19 pandemic. These include banning large cruise ships from key areas and emphasizing the benefits of longer-term visitors who contribute more to the local economy.

Despite these efforts, some residents remain skeptical about the new system’s effectiveness in curbing mass tourism and are calling for more focus on boosting the resident population and services.

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