The City Council of Venice, located in northeastern Italy and known for its canals, has passed a resolution requiring visitors to pay an entrance fee or an “access contribution.” Initially, the fee will be 5 euros for visitors to the city, and it will be implemented starting next spring. The fee aims to discourage daily mass tourism, making Venice the first destination in the world to introduce this measure. The resolution was first announced in July 2022 and approved for implementation on January 16, 2023.
Venice, a UNESCO World Heritage city, receives around 20 million visitors annually on 414 km². This makes it one of the 55 sites included by UNESCO on the 2023 list of endangered heritage sites.
The City Council has announced that the new entry fee will be approved on September 12 after reviewing the corresponding commissions. The fee will be tested over 30 days in 2024, which is yet to be defined.
Simone Venturini, the Tourism Councilor, has stated that they are embarking on an unfamiliar path with humility. There will be problems and obstacles to overcome. They believe that tourism management is a priority for their city’s future.
The official municipal website states that a new management system for tourist flows will be introduced soon. The resolution outlines guidelines for system implementation, including general principles, exclusions, exemptions, controls, and sanctions. The system will be accessible through a multi-channel platform and available in multiple languages.
Who should pay?
The objective of the City Council is to discourage daily tourism during certain times to protect the delicacy and uniqueness of the city. Any natural person over 14 who enters the city must pay the access fee, except residents, workers, and students.
Also exempt are tourists staying overnight in the city, residents of the Veneto region, children under 14 years of age, people in need of care, participants in sports competitions, law enforcement officers on duty, and family members of residents. “Daily visitors will contribute,” stressed the City Council.
After the municipality board approves the contribution, the time slots, and the entrance fee, the following day will be determined. Initially, the fee will be 5 euros. This is not a tool for making money; it will only cover the system costs. However, it will guarantee residents a better quality of life, and tourists will experience more vivid emotions during their stay.
“Venice is open and accessible, but balancing residence and tourism requires careful planning,” said Venice authorities.