Venice plans to experiment with a 5-euro ($5.35) entrance fee for day-trippers next year to try to manage the flow of tourists drawn to its historic canals, the city council said on Tuesday.
The tax will be applied on a trial basis for 30 days next year, focusing mainly on spring holidays and summer weekends when tourist numbers are at their peak.
Who will pay the new tax?
All visitors over the age of 14 will have to pay it. The aim was to find “a new balance between the rights of those who live, study or work in Venice and those of those who visit the city,” said Venice tourism councilor Simone Venturini.
He added that it is not a money-making move, stating that the fee will only cover the costs of running the system.
The exact details of the plan and how it will be managed will be determined after final council approval, which is expected next week.
The plan, first proposed in 2019, was initially delayed due to COVID-19, which kept tourists away, and later due to technical and procedural reasons. Meanwhile, visitors have returned to Venice, with foreigners often far outnumbering the roughly 50,000 residents of the city center, overwhelming its narrow alleyways.
Over-tourism has long been a problem for the fragile lagoon city.
In July, UNESCO experts recommended that Venice and its lagoon be added to the list of World Heritage in Danger, arguing that Italy is not doing enough to protect the city from the impacts of climate change and mass tourism.
How much is the tourist tax in Venice?
In Venice there are two types of so-called tourist taxes: One tax is called “tassa di soggiorno” or accommodation tax. The other is called “contributo di accesso”, or the access contribution. In other words, it’s a day trip tax.
Tourists coming to Venice must pay either one or the other tax.
What is the accommodation tax in Venice?
The “Overnight Tax”, introduced in 2011, is a tax paid by all guests staying overnight in hotels or guesthouses in Venice. This fee varies between €1 and €5 per person per night and must be paid directly at the hotel or B&B. It is charged from the first day and up to 5 days. From the 6th day onwards no fee has to be paid.