In 2022, the city of Venice announced that it was going to be introducing a tourist tax. Travellers would have to present pre-paid tickets before entering the city at busy times, in a bid to reduce overcrowding.
First due to start in June 2022 and then January 2023, the scheme has faced a series of delays as visitor numbers struggled to recover from the pandemic. However the city has now announced that the charging scheme will launch in spring 2024, initially as a 30-day experiment.
When the tax is introduced next year, it will apply to visitors who travel only for the day to the ‘old city’ – that's the entirety of the lagoon region. Those travelling directly to the ‘minor islands’ like Burano and Murano won’t need to pay, and locals and commuters will also be exempt. People staying in the city for one night or more will also be excused from the fee, as will people with a second home in Venice. However, all those who are exempted from the fee still need to register their trip online.
More details have also emerged about the cost of entry and the days on which it applies. The fee will be applicable on various days across the high season when authorities predict Venice to be at its busiest, and it will cost €5 (£4.30, $5.40) per person.
It’s thought that the tax will simply be used to cover the cost of the booking system itself, rather than turning a profit. This is because the tax is intended simply to discourage visitors on days when the city is likely to be at capacity. It comes after Unesco announced it was considering adding Venice to its endangered list, partly due to damage by high tourist numbers. Clearly, Venice is on the bucket lists of millions, but in order to protect it for the future, these measures seem like a necessary step.
Venice isn’t the only place that is attempting to combat overtourism. Amsterdam recently launched an ad campaign to crack down on rowdy tourists, and Bali has implemented multiple measures, such as banning mountain climbing and the use of motorbikes on the island. Here’s our full list of destinations which are cracking down on tourists.
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