Venice is the latest city to pull the reins on its masses of visitors by introducing a new tourist tax from July 1, 2020.
The picturesque canal city is one of Italy’s most popular tourist destinations. However, as of next summer, day-trippers will have to pay ‘a contribution for access’ fee 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. 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.
What is the purpose of the tourist tax?
According to Luigi Brugnaro, Venice’s mayor, the purpose of the tax is to contribute to the upkeep of the lagoon city and popular Venetian islands. It will also reduce 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.”
Who has to pay?
The tax will apply to all day-trippers whether they arrive by boat, coach, cruise ship, water taxi, plane or train. Visitors that stay a night or more in official accommodation are already 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.
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.