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'No to tickets, yes to services and housing': Venetians protest €5 tourist entry fee

Stewards check tourists QR code access outside the main train station in Venice, Italy, 26 April 2024
Stewards check tourists QR code access outside the main train station in Venice, Italy, 26 April 2024 Copyright Luca Bruno/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved
Copyright Luca Bruno/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved
By Euronews with AP
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The fee was introduced yesterday for daytime visitors to tackle overtourism in the city.

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Venice residents have rallied against a day-tripper fee for visitors, implemented to combat excess tourism.

Protesters argue that the fee turns the famous city into a 'theme park' and that it won't address the real issues they face.

Hundreds of Venetians marched though the city's main bus terminal holding banners reading “No to Tickets, Yes to Services and Housing”. 

Protesters scuffled briefly with police with riot gear who blocked them from entering the city, before changing course and entering over another bridge escorted by plainclothes police officers. The demonstration eventually wrapped up peacefully in a piazza.

Why has Venice introduced a first of its kind day-tripper fee?

Under the gaze of the world’s media, the fragile lagoon city of Venice launched a pilot program on Thursday to charge day-trippers a €5 entry fee that authorities hope will discourage visitors from arriving on peak days and make the city more liveable for its dwindling residents.

The requirement applies only for people arriving between 8.30 am and 4 pm. Outside of those hours, access is free and unchecked.

Venice has long suffered under the pressure of overtourism. Officials say pre-pandemic estimates ranging from 25 million to 30 million visitors a year are not reliable and that the pilot project also aims to come up with more exact figures.

The city is strained when the number of day-trippers reaches 30,000 to 40,000, according to the city’s top tourism official, Simone Venturini. Its narrow alleyways are clogged with people and water taxis packed, making it difficult for residents to go about their business.

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