Venice, which has suffered from years of overtourism, is set to introduce a booking system that will charge those visiting the Italian city for a day trip up to €10 (£8/$11) to enter.

The plan to introduce a reservation system was announced before the pandemic took hold, but was pushed back due to the disappearance of tourism. But now the masses have returned, which in some ways is a welcome sight, the city’s mayor has outlined that making Venice ‘bookable’ is the way to go.

After a wave of tourists descended on Venice during the Easter weekend, Mayor Luigi Brugnaro said in a tweet: “Tourism starts again in #Venezia. A breath of fresh air for operators. Today many have understood that making the city bookable is the right way to take, for a more balanced management of tourism. We will be the first in the world in this difficult experimentation.”

Simone Venturini, the councillor responsible for tourism, told state TV network RAI that the city will soon launch a “simple” portal for online bookings and that in 2023 Venice will have an entry fee. Venturini also said that the booking system will be voluntary in 2022 and will be run as a trial before being implemented properly in January 2023.

Tourists will be offered incentives including queue-jump at various locations and museums to use the system before it is made obligatory. When entry fees do become mandatory in January, prices will range from €3 on quiet days to €10 during peak hours.

Venturi said the portal would offer the chance to “know how many people are predicted for that day, and to calibrate services according to the number”.

Image: Damiano Baschiera on Unsplash