Venice launches new tourism tax – rules explained | Travel News | Travel

Brits visiting the gorgeous city of Venice will need to pay an additional charge for the privilege this summer – thanks to a new tourism tax being introduced.

Officials have slapped the levy on visitors from all nations in a bid to tackle the issue of overcrowding, especially on peak weekends in the Italian city famed for its long canals and lack of roads.

Last November, local authorities unveiled a pilot program for their long-discussed plan to charge day-trippers visiting the city. The implementation, initially scheduled for earlier this year, faced delays due to logistical challenges and concerns about potential impacts on tourist revenue.

But the city council has now confirmed the launch of an online payment platform that tourists must use to book tickets. The charge went live on Tuesday and requires visitors to use the site to obtain a special QR code. This will be requested at various points around the city.

The newly introduced entry fee aims to reduce crowds, encourage longer visits, and enhance the quality of life for residents.

The rollout of the tourist tax follows Venice narrowly avoiding placement on UNESCO’s danger list last year. It’s said this is due to damage caused by overtourism to its delicate ecosystem.

The proposed entry fee played a crucial role in the decision to spare Venice from the list. Mayor Luigi Brugnaro stressed that the fee is not intended to generate additional revenue but is a ‘first-of-its-kind experiment’ to regulate tourist flows in one of the world’s most-visited destinations.

The primary goal is to incentivise visitors to choose less crowded periods, creating a more sustainable and liveable city.

Starting this year, visitors will be required to pay a €5 fee to enter the fragile lagoon city, applicable on peak weekends and specific days from April to mid-July – totalling 29 days.

The day-tripper fee will be in effect during peak hours from 8.30am to 4pm – so those who venture into the city past this point will not need their tourism pass.

Numerous exemptions apply to the entry fee system, including residents, Venetian-born visitors, students, workers, and tourists with lodging reservations.

Visitors can now reserve their day in Venice on a dedicated platform as of January 16, paying €5 to receive a QR code checked at spot controls in various access points around the city.

The move comes as Venice grapples with the aftermath of the COVID-19 lockdowns, aiming to rebuild its tourism industry in a more sustainable manner. In response to pressure from UNESCO and environmentalists, large cruise ships have been banned from sailing past St Mark’s Square and through the Giudecca canal.

Mayor Brugnaro clarified that the new day-tripper contribution is not intended to discourage tourism but rather to manage it more effectively. He acknowledged potential glitches in the visitor program, stating that adjustments may be necessary after its initial rollout.

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