Venice has been given permission to charge entry fees of up to €10 (£9/$11.50) for short-stay tourists.
Italy has approved its 2019 budget with a clause allowing the city to impose a fee, specifically targeting day-trippers arriving on cruise ships.
A similar “landing tax” is already in place when tourists visit Italy’s tiny Aeolian Islands.
More than a million visitors flock to Venice every year via hundreds of cruise ships.
According to the BBC, Venice Mayor Luigi Brugnaro said the “landing tax” would create much-needed income to keep the city clean.
While the standard price will be from €2.50 to €5 per person, at peak times in the summer it could rise to €10. Venice plans to have the tax in place for the 2019 high season.
The tourist tax will replace a city tax already levied on hotel occupants. That tax brings in about €30m annually, but the “landing tax” could bring in an estimated €50m.
Claudio Scarpa, head of the Venice hotel managers’ association, Ava, said “The principle is that whoever visits from morning to evening, contributing just a tiny amount to the revenue from tourism, but imposing costs on our services, must understand that it’s not all there for free”.
Local residents, workers and students will be exempt. Venetians have long complained about short-term tourists making little economic contribution.
In 2017, Venice considered implementing a ticketing system for its popular St. Mark’s Square to regulate the number of tourists. According to UK newspaper the Telegraph, anti-tourism flyers put out by Venice residents began appearing in 2016 with banners hung from bridges that read: “Tourists go away!!! You are destroying this area!!”
Image: Kirk F