Venice Overtourism: Venice will charge Day-Trippers up to 10 Euros to enter the City – Cruise Lines Trade association CLIA is not amused.
In a move approved recently by the Italian government, Venice officials will charge visitors up to 10 Euros each in a move some hope will ease the crushing flow of tourists that clamber out of cruise ships and tour buses each year.
Venice is said to host some 24 million visitors a year, some 15 million of them day-trippers.
It’s not clear how the tax would work, but it appears the fee will be included in the cost of cruise ship tickets or bus or train tickets.
The tax will range from two and-a-half Euros to 10 Euros, depending on whether visitors arrive in high season or quiet times of the year.
Luigi Brugnaro, the mayor of Venice, hailed the move as “historic.” “In this way we can start addressing Venice’s many extra expenses,” he said.
Official estimate that as many as 30 million people visit Venice each year, with about one-fifth spending at least one night in the historic center of the city, which excludes islands in the lagoon and a mainland.
Brugnaro said the substantial cost of cleaning and maintaining security has so far been paid "only by Venetians." Many natives have been forced to the mainland due to the high cost of living, and the huge influx of tourist also from cruise ships has contributed to wear and tear on the delicate architecture, which also endures frequent flooding caused by high winds.
Cruise Lines International Association officials aren’t happy with the tax.
“CLIA and its members are disappointed that the Italian government supported the proposal to introduce a local entrance tax for visitors to Venice in its recent budget bill,” the organization said in a statement. “We will wait to see how the Venice authorities take this forward before responding further.”
CLIA’s position is understandable. Not only would it make Venice more expensive, the Italian move could easily spark similar measures in other world cities that have complained of what some call “over-tourism.”
Protests against too many visitors have taken place in recent years in cities across Europe, including Barcelona and Amsterdam. The Venice tax could be the tip of the proverbial iceberg.