02/12/2021

THAILAND DAILY

NEWSPAPER / MAGAZINE / PUBLISHER

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Venice To Charge Entrance Fees Starting Summer 2022

The new measure being implemented hopes to ease the overcrowding situation in the island city.

Venice canal
Image: Dimitry Anikin/Unsplash

The City of Venice is set to charge a fee on its incoming tourists come summer 2022 as lawmakers have approved new measures in a bid to ease overcrowding on the island. The set of restrictions will come into effect next summer. 

Day-trippers to the Italian city will be required to book a visit in advance, pay a fee between €3 and €10 (depending on the season) and pass through electronic turnstiles. The set of regulations was reported by the Italian newspaper, La Stampa. Those who will be exempted from the tax are guests who have booked overnight stays, residents and their relatives and children under the age of six.

Talks regarding the access fees were first announced in 2018 and scheduled for implementation in May 2019 but it got delayed and put on hold last year when the pandemic halted international travel.

With this upcoming implementation, Venice will be the first major city in the world to institute such measures and the fees collected will help to conserve the UNESCO World Heritage site

Rialto Bridge
Rialto Bridge. Image: Vincenzo Landino/Unsplash

As a popular tourist destination, Venice welcomed more than 30 million visitors annually pre-Covid — 70 per cent of whom only stopped in for the day, according to the Telegraph. And these visitors, who usually enter the city to visit the Rialto Bridge and St. Mark’s Square via their cruise ships, contribute very little to the city’s economy.

In June, local residents and environmentalists pushed for the ban of large cruise ships passing through the Giudecca Canal and St. Mark’s Basin. The damages brought on by these large vessels have devastated the city’s foundations and harm the fragile ecosystem of its lagoon. As a result, a decision was made to address the concerns from UNESCO and politicians have agreed to ban vessels weighing more than 25,000 tonnes from entering the historic city from August 1.

However, not everyone is agreeable as many critics are against the installation of turnstiles because it will turn Venice into being amusement park-like.

“It is an unconstitutional measure and against European law,” city councilor Marco Gasparinetti told La Stampa, according to Forbes. “It is humiliating for the city, for its residents and for visitors. It is unthinkable to charge a family or a friend of a Venetian to enter the city.”

With this slew of actions taken by the Italian government, it is hoped that over-tourism in Venice can be alleviated over time and people can be more aware of their impacts on the city.

For more travel reads, click here.

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