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Venice is charging a tourist tax of 5 euros from today to limit the crowds

Venice is charging a tourist tax of 5 euros from today to limit the crowds

Venice has been fighting for years not to die of success. The City of Canals has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987But last year the organization threatened Italian authorities with blacklisting the Serenissima if it did not implement urgent measures to protect its historical and environmental heritage. A decision that would have been a slap in the face for the city’s international image. As part of this “redemption” strategy, the City of Canals banned large cruise ships from entering its lagoon and is now the first city in the world to charge an entrance fee for access.

Starting this Thursday and running until July 14thTourists who want to visit Venice You must reserve in advance and pay an entrance fee of 5 euros; It won’t be every day, but most weekends between 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. The fee applies to those not staying in hotels or temporary rental accommodation, while residents of the Veneto region, students and those who work in the city are exempt from the fee. The ticket is purchased online and generates a QR code that tourists must present at the main access points to the Italian city, mainly at the Santa Lucía train station.

“It is an experiment and it is the first time in the world that it is being carried out”said the Venetian mayor Luigi Brugnano, who stressed that “with the right key, it can become a model on which other places in the world can work, because we have the duty to preserve the great historical centers,” he defended.

In this first phase the initiative has a very limited scope: In 2024, only 29 days of high tourist influx will be affected by this new tariff. Although local authorities have indicated in the past that the aim is to set a cap on the maximum number of visitors per day to avoid overcrowding, ultimately there will be no income limit because “we don’t in this case would give”. a city, but a museum”.

Tourophobia

According to Brugnano, it is “an experiment” to discourage excessive tourism “This has nothing to do with tourist phobia”but rather aims to “find a solution that will help us better manage tourist flows”. “We are trying to protect our sensitive city”. Local authorities have made no secret of their fear that the strategy could be interpreted as an attack on tourists, who are the city’s main source of income, which is why the mayor promised “very gentle, random” checks, but with a fine of between 50 and 300 euros for violators. Tourists who have not yet completed this procedure can purchase it upon arrival with the help of local vendors.

Since the budget law authorized the Venice City Council to charge an entrance fee in 2018, the proposal was announced several times, all postponed for different reasons. In January, a website went live where tourists can reserve their tickets in advance for the days when an entrance fee is charged. Since then, More than 151,000 people have already done itaccording to official information.

“Our goal is to make Venice more livable”Brugnano defended. In fact, alongside uncontrolled tourism, one of the main problems is the mass exodus of residents. Around 49,300 people currently live in the city of canals, while in September the number of tourist accommodation exceeded that of residents for the first time, reaching 49,693 buildings in the historic center alone.

The measure was welcomed by the associations of Venetian merchants and restaurateurs, while the consumer organization objected the “privatization of the city”. “We are ready to study the impact of this umpteenth tax on visitors who are already forced to pay crazy prices for transport and everything related to commerce and restaurants,” criticized Carlo Garofolini, president of Adico . “The fear,” he added, “is that other cities in Italy will follow Venice’s example and transform our beautiful country.” Disneyland“.

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