Seems as if one of Italy’s most famous cities is picking up on what the US started earlier this year, charging a tourist entrance fee. Those arriving to this renowned city by train, a flight to Venice or a cruise ship will soon be taxed to disembark.
Did you know as many as 20 million people visit Venice every year and only stay for one day? With hotel and restaurants prices through the roof, it’s no wonder so many are opting to bring their own picnic lunches and make Venice a day trip rather than an overnight destination.
The plan is to target tourists flying into Marco Polo Airport, arriving via the Adriatic on cruise ships and those coming in by train to the city proper. Although entrance taxes have raised their fair share of hairs in the past, Venetians are not worried that people will stop coming (that seems impossible) but rather that a tax to enter the city will give the idea that the place is some sort of “historical theme park”, not a city with laws and locals.
The city has two points to make:
- The fact that so many only visit Venice as “day trippers”, this drastically deprives the city of a lot of much-needed revenue to maintain its publicly owned monuments, bridges and public palaces.
- With more than 20 million visitors a year plus the locals (270 000), there’s a lot of wear and tear for a city built on water. Thinking about funding reconstruction projects for the future, the city needs to act now.
Although the amount of the tax is yet to be decided and with no clear date that it will be put in place, you can probably expect this new tax to start by next summer’s ever-busy tourist season in Venice.
Does Venice have a right to charge entrance to the city? What do you think of an additional travel tax? How much is too much?
Img: bridgepix / flickr cc