Britons face new charge when visiting Venice in latest change to tourism policy

Britons hoping to visit Venice could face new charges in the latest change to the city’s tourism policies.

Venice officials are expected to impose a new tax on tourists in a bid to control the level of visitors that flock to the Italian city.

The charge hopes to reduce this number during the peak seasons by making people think twice about the length of their trip to Venice.

It will be trialled at a rate of 5€ (£4.30) per day and apply to all visitors over the age of 14.

While it is the first tax of its kind to exist in Venice, it has been years in the works, since February 2019.

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According to city council member for tourism, Simone Venturin, the tax will be imposed during peak tourist periods next year.

He said: “Venice is among the most visited European cities… [and so] suffers the most from excess tourism.”

It means people planning to visit in the remaining months of 2023 will be exempt from paying the fee. 

Simone noted that the objective of the tax is to invite daily tourists to choose off-peak days by waiving the tax on these dates.

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“He continued: We want to test [the fee] and, if needed, improve it. We cannot discuss for [an]other 40 years what’s best to do.”

Over-tourism has been widely recognised as a pressing issue for the Italian city, which is known for its modest size of just 2.7 square miles.

It often overflows with visitors in the summer months, having hosted almost 13 million of them in 2019 alone, according to the Italian National Statistics Institute.

While it has not yet exceeded its pre-pandemic records, tourism in Venice is expected to continue to grow perhaps beyond its capacity without intervention.

Tourism tax already exists across Italy and other parts of Europe, though the fees vary between cities.

Visiting charges apply in the following regions:

  • The Netherlands – 3€ per person per night payable localy
  • Italy – tax depends on the city, Rome is between 3€ and 7€ per person, per night
  • Switzerland – around 2.20€ on average
  • Spain – Barcelona, Majorca, Ibiza, Menorca, Formentera (Balearic Islands), Catalonia

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