Venice has become the latest city to pull the reins on its masses of visitors each year by introducing a new tourist tax from July 1, 2020. The picturesque canal city has long been one of Italy’s most popular tourist destinations however as of next summer day-trippers will be expected to pay ‘a contribution for access’ charge upon entry.
With more than 20 million people estimated to visit Venice each year, it’s no surprise that the pressures of overtourism have really taken a toll on the city council and local residents. In fact, initial talks of the new tax-plan began over a year ago, only it wasn’t until proper logistics could be established before the plan could go ahead.
While the exact charge is to be confirmed at a later date, authorities are estimating that tourists will pay €3 ($A4.90) during the low season, €8 ($A13) during high season and €10 ($AU16.30) during ‘critical’ periods, such as summer weekends and holiday periods.
Luigi Brugnaro, Venice’s mayor, has insisted the purpose of the tax is to contribute to the upkeep of the lagoon city and popular Venetian islands while also reducing local service fees for those who live on the canals.
“The aim is to improve the quality of life of residents,” Luigi Brugnaro said. “We’re not in it to make money.”
The tax will apply to all day-trippers whether they arrive by boat, coach, cruise ship, water taxi, plane or train. Anyone staying a night or more in official accommodation will already be required to pay the local city tax at their hotel, meaning they don’t have to pay the new access fee.
The only individuals exempt from the tax are resident Venetians or those visiting the city for study, work or family reasons.
More details including penalties for those who fail to pay, the exact method of collection and final rates are coming soon. For now, anyone planning a trip to Venice in the next European summer should be prepared to factor the tourist tax into their budgets.