Is travel on the top of your priority list right now? Are you mindlessly scrolling through Google and trying to settle on a destination for your next vacay? Are you in the mood for a sunny beach or snowy mountains? Or perhaps you’d like to trot around Europe taking in all the architecture and food that makes your insides melt. If the last option is looking more and more tempting, we suggest you start taking notes. From 16th January 2023 onwards, anyone who wishes to spend a day in Venice for the gondola rides and beautiful sights will have to make prior reservations and pay an entry fee.
Every year millions of people from all over the world flock to Venice. In 2019, the city of water saw over 19 million tourists. Most of whom just spend the day and move on. We’ll give you a second to pick up your jaw from the floor. From this staggering statistic, it’s clear that over-tourism is a serious problem in Venice. And in a bid to counter it, city officials have decided to implement this reserve and pay system for day-trippers. This makes Venice the first tourist destination in the world to charge a tourism fee!
The fee will range from €3 to €10 (Rs247-Rs823) depending on the density of tourists in the city at the time of your visit. Even the people on cruises who disembark in Venice for the day will have to reserve their slot and pay this fee. This system will allow city officials to know how many people they can expect daily. However, the people who are caught in the city without a prior reservation will face a fine of up to €300 (approx Rs 24,000). Calling this new rule a “great revolution” Venice’s councillor for tourism, Simone Venturini said in a press conference that this is the only solution to a problem that the city has been facing for decades.
Meanwhile, people who are spending the night in Venice will not have to pay this tourism fee since they already pay a lodging tax. Children below the age of 6, residents, disabled people, homeowners, people with medical reasons, people with relatives in Venice, or those who are there to attend cultural events will also be exempted from this new rule. Although officials claim that a QR code verification can be done that reveals whether a person deserves an exemption or not.
With this new rule, Venice aims to, “find this balance between residents and long-term and short-term visitors,” says Simone.