Venice to make tourists pay entry fee to tackle overtourism
The Italian city of Venice has introduced a new scheme where tourists have to book a spot and pay an entry fee before visiting the city. Venice is the world's first city to take such measures, to keep overtourism or overcrowding under check. The radical new scheme will start on January 16, 2023. Read on to know more about this scheme!
Incoming tourists are expected to pay an entrance fee of anywhere between €3 (Rs. 250) and €10 (Rs. 820), depending on the tourist inflow. The more the demand to enter the city, the higher would be the price. The measure was announced by Simone Venturini, Venice's councilor for tourism on July 1. He claimed that this measure will solve Venice's issue with overtourism.
Venice has been witnessing a large number of tourists ever since Italy lifted the COVID-19 restrictions in June. The scheme will help the government to monitor tourist arrivals and make detailed plans about the booking system and take measures to avoid tourist peaks. "We are thinking of a visitor limit beyond which you pay more but the city will never close," Venturini further clarified.
In case a tourist does not abide by the scheme and violates rules and regulations, then they have to pay a hefty fine. Tourists won't be able to go past the turnstiles at railway stations without a QR code on their tickets. If found without a ticket during spot checks, they will have to pay a fine between Rs. 4,100 to Rs. 24,700.
Not everyone visiting Venice will be charged. Differently-abled people, students, and children under the age of six are exempted from paying the entrance fee. Homeowners, people visiting for medical reasons, people visiting relatives, and those attending sporting or cultural events will also be exempted. Overnight hotel guests are exempted since they will already be paying tourist tax on their hotel bills.
Michele Zuin, the finance chief of Venice, told CNN, "It is not a system to make cash but to manage tourist flows." The new scheme's objective is to fund the maintenance of the city and lower the tax paid by residents.