Venice is one of the most visited places in the world. The tourists also go all out as they sit down in the middle of the street to chat and eat, they swim in the canals, and they also cause issues to local workers.
Although tourism is an essential part of Venice's economy, due to the rowdy tourists, the city had decided to start charging day tourists an entry free in an attempt to stop the hit-and-run tourism that is about 30 million people every year.
Entry fee in Venice
The fee system was introduced just this summer, but it was postponed indefinitely due to the evisceration of Venice's economy when visitor numbers decreased because of the coronavirus pandemic. But now the entry fee rule is back on.
Venice's authorities have confirmed that the fee for anyone entering the city without an overnight reservation will be launched on January 1, 2022, according to BBC.
Michele Zuin, the councilor responsible for the economy in Venice, said that in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, they have decided to make an important gesture regarding the optics of wanting to encourage the return of tourism in the city.
The city has suffered during the pandemic, with numerous shops and restaurants closing due to the lack of customers. Locals are now desperate for visitors to return, although many see this hiatus as a chance to change the tourism law for the better.
The contributo di accesso or access fee, will be priced according to how busy the city is in a bid to dissuade people from entering Venice on peak days, thereby spreading them out throughout the year, according to The Local.
The official figures have not been confirmed for 2022, but for the scheduled implementation in 2020, it was planned to be around $12 during the peak days.
Visitors staying overnight in the city are exempted, it is move to encourage people to spend the night and it can help put more money into the city's economy.
Relaunching the economy
Zuin said that the next 14 months will be spent creating a system that will allow people to reserve their slots ahead of their visit. Zuin calls his announcement as part of a plan to relaunch the economy of the city, according to Time Out.
Valeria Duflot, co-founder of Venezia Autentica, an online platform encouraging sustainable tourism, said that she was glad that the fee will be delayed, though she urged the authorities to do more towards changing the kind of tourism in the city.
Duflot said that recovery is forecast to take years and the situation right now is critical. A lot of local businesses were surviving because of tourism money. As the community desperately needs businesses, postponing a tax that was made in the pre-pandemic time of overtourism makes sense.
Venice's visitor numbers have become difficult for the city to handle. Although some residents have protested at the erection of turnstiles separating locals and tourists on peak days, and have compared the ticketing system to turning the city into a theme park, city mayor Luigi Brugnaro won re-election in September 2020.
In the past 70 years, around 70% residents left the city due to the economy turning towards tourism.
Related Article: Countries Reopening for Tourists Amidst Coronavirus Pandemic