Attractions & Experiences

City of Venice access fee for tourists now close to approval

View from Academia Bridge, City of Venice, Italy

The Italian city of Venice has accelerated plans for the trial of a new €5 access fee designed to limit tourist numbers within its historic centre.

Proposals for a test period in 2024 will be sent to the city council for approval as soon as next week (Sep 12) having been approved by the local municipal council. The test will last approximately 30 days and will focus on spring long weekends and summer weekends.

The fee will be targeted at the more than 19 million day trippers who visit the city each year, but provide just a fraction of the revenue of those who stayed for at least one night.

City officials said the objective is not to raise money but to discourage daily tourism in busy periods, in line with the “delicacy and uniqueness” of the city. They added that receipts from the charge will only cover the costs of implementing and operating the management system, through which a limited number of visitors can book a time slot for their visit.

The provision put forward to the council includes general principles, exclusions, exemptions, controls and sanctions. It is proposed that the access fee must be paid by everyone over the age of 14. As the charge is targeted at day visitors, local residents, those staying within the municipality and some other groups will be exempt.

Assuming the plan is approved by the city council, matters such as the duration of time slots, the area covered by the plan and the days it is in force will be defined.

Accessible and open

Budget councillor Michele Zuin said: “This is a significant turning point in the management of tourism flows in Venice. We will start a continuous and direct comparison with all economic and social categories to monitor the short- and medium-term effects together, with a view to involving all stakeholders.

“The exemptions comply with good standards and sense to guarantee access to Venice to those who work, study, have loved ones, have health needs or must travel out of necessity to the regional capital, which hosts many administrative functions.

“The message we want to give is that Venice is accessible and open, but visitors, both national and international, must understand that planning is needed to best manage the balance between residents and tourists.”

Italy’s national government gave Venice approval to introduce a ‘landing fee’ of up to €10 for tourists back in 2019.