Exclusive: Venice u-turns on overtourism tax this summer despite record visitor numbers

Venice has announced that the entry fee for tourists won't come into force this summer.
Venice has announced that the entry fee for tourists won't come into force this summer. Copyright Angelo Casto
Copyright Angelo Casto
By Rebecca Ann Hughes
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Just weeks before the entry system was meant to come into force, authorities have made a u-turn.


Venice has announced that their entry fee for tourists has been postponed until next year.

The change comes at the very last minute, as they had previously said the system would be trialled in June 2022. However, the city’s authorities voted to delay the introduction of the fee until the start of 2023.

Why is Venice introducing a tourist tax?

As revealed by Euronews Travel last month, the Italian city’s authorities announced the decision to bring in the entry fee after the canal city was inundated with visitors over the Easter weekend.

They said the tax is necessary for curbing the overwhelming number of daytrippers visiting the historic centre.

The payment system has been in the pipeline since before the coronavirus pandemic. But it was postponed amid COVID travel restrictions.

As visitor numbers returned to pre-pandemic levels earlier in the spring, the city council decided to move forward with the entry fee.

This follows Venice’s ban on cruise ships, imposed last summer, and the introduction of a video surveillance system that monitors the flow of tourists through the city’s streets.

Before the pandemic, the lagoon city had been struggling with unsustainable tourist numbers. In peak season, as many as 110,000 tourists visited the city in a single day, far outnumbering the resident population which currently stands at around 50,000.

While the surveillance cameras have been likened to “big brother” measures, residents of Venice have been calling for stricter visitor regulations for years.

The Rialto Bridge is one of Venice's iconic landmarksCanva

Who will have to pay the entry fee?

The entrance fee will be applicable to visitors arriving in Venice for the day. Travellers who book to stay overnight in a hotel in the historic centre are exempt from the added cost as they already pay a city tax of up to €5 a night.

Residents, students and commuters will also not have to pay up to enter the city.

It is hoped the booking system and entry fee will help to regulate the number of visitors to the historic centre, particularly those staying just for the day.

Venice's Basilica di Santa Maria della SaluteCanva

How much is the Venice tourist tax?

As of 2023, daytrippers to Venice will have to pre-book their visit and pay an entrance fee using a dedicated booking app. The cost will vary from €3 in low season to €10 on particularly busy days. There are also plans to install electronic turnstiles at access points to the city.

When will the fee be introduced?

Venice town council have announced that the booking and payment system will be live as of January 16th, 2023.

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