The new proposal aims to stop overcrowding in one of the world’s most popular tourist destination
Almost 30 million tourists visit the city of Venice every year — about 80,000 a day. However, most of the visitors — about 80 per cent — don’t stay overnight and that means the city misses out on potential hotel taxes and additional earnings.
Yesterday, Venice city council approved a visitor’s tax on all day-trippers in order to make the city’s tourism more sustainable. Starting in May, the city plans to charge an entrance fee of €3 for the rest of 2019.
Luigi Brugnaro, the mayor of Venice, said: “This is a significant turning point in the management of Venice’s tourist flows.”
The fee will double next year. But the exact amount will also depend on visitor traffic, ranging from €3 to €10 to reflect low- and high-traffic days.
The council approved the plan by 22 votes to five.
In comparison with the large numbers of tourists, only about 50,000 people call Venice their home.
Venetian governor Luca Zaia said: “Venice needs respect, and as is the case with museums, sports stadiums, cinemas, trains and aeroplanes, it needs to have planned visits… which makes it sustainable both for tourists and the city.”
The Venetian fee follows the global trend of introducing visitor’s taxes
The tax applies to those visiting the historic centre of Venice and any of the 50 islands in the Venetian lagoon.
The introduction of the tourist tax is supposed to stimulate tourism in the long term. It aims to stop overcrowding and to ensure the preservation of cultural heritage, environment and the financing of public services, such as cleaning of public areas.
Nevertheless, there are about 20 exemptions to the new tax. For example, those exempted from paying are individuals born, living, working, or studying in the city, as well as children under the age of six or those visiting relatives.
The fee can be paid at transportation and tourism agencies. However, the city plans to dedicate this year to experimenting with the best ways how to enforce the tax.
Offenders will face a fine of up to €450. It isn’t yet known how it plans to enforce it.
Venice is yet another place in the world to introduce visitor’s taxes. For example, the Philippines came up with a tourist tax for both domestic and foreign travellers. A month ago, Bali proposed a $10 international tourist tax to help combat the island’s waste situation. And most recently, the UK’s city of Edinburgh introduced a two-pound tourist tax.