Photo Credit: Awakening/ Getty Images
You Will Soon Have To Pay To Enter Venice, Italy
A council in Venice, Italy recently voted to impose an entrance fee for those who come into the World Heritage Site city.
While nearly 25 million visitors come to see the city each year, it seems that they just aren’t spending enough money during their visit. Over half of the visitors only come to see the city for just a day. During the short visits, many visitors bring their own picnic food, which cuts down significantly on the amount of money pouring into the economy.
In an overwhelming vote, council members decided to impose a fee of 3 euros, or roughly $3.42. This fee will rise somewhere between 6 and 10 euros by early 2020, depending on the season.
“This is a significant turning point in the management of Venice’s tourist flows,” said Mayor Luigi Brugnaro, who has championed the move.
Over the last few decades, the population in Venice has dropped from around 175,000 people after World War II, to around only 50,000 people today. Current residents are not happy about tourists overrunning their city and then being stuck with the task of paying for the cleanup.
Council members have not officially mapped out how they will collect the newly imposed fee. As of now, they will likely have transportation companies bringing visitors in, and add the fee into their ticket prices.
All is not lost though. If you plan to visit and spend the night in a local hotel, you will be exempt from the tax. This is because local hotels currently add a visitors tax into their rates.
“Venice needs respect, and as is the case with museums, sports stadiums, cinemas, trains and airplanes, it needs to have planned visits… which makes it sustainable both for tourists and the city,” Veneto governor Luca Zaia said on Wednesday.