ROME — Venice authorities on Thursday unveiled a pilot program to cost day-trippers 5 euros ($5.45) apiece to enter the delicate lagoon metropolis on peak weekends subsequent yr in an effort to cut back crowds, encourage longer visits and enhance the standard of life for residents.
The rollout of the vacationer “contribution” program got here after Venice, a UNESCO World Heritage web site, narrowly escaped being positioned on the U.N. company’s hazard record earlier this yr due to the risk that overtourism was having on its delicate ecosystem. Member states cited the proposed new entry payment in deciding to spare Venice from the record.
Venice Mayor Luigi Brugnaro confused Thursday that the payment will not be a brand new vacationer tax or an try to usher in further income. Fairly, he stated, it’s a first-of-its-kind experiment in regulating vacationer flows in one of many world’s most-visited locations by incentivizing guests to keep away from high-traffic intervals and are available on different days.
“Our try is to make a extra livable metropolis,” he stated at a information convention outlining the pilot program.
In all, 29 days from April to mid-July -– together with most weekends — will likely be topic to the day-tripper payment throughout peak hours from 8:30 a.m. till 4 p.m., that means guests who come into Venice for dinner or a live performance received’t need to pay.
A bunch of exemptions apply, together with for residents and Venetian-born guests, college students and staff, in addition to vacationers who’ve resort or different lodging reservations.
Beginning on Jan. 16, an internet site, www.cda.ve.it, will go stay at which guests can “reserve” their day in Venice. Day trippers pay 5 euros and get a QR code that can then be checked at spot controls at seven entry factors across the metropolis, together with on the most important practice station.
Guests with resort reservations enter their resort info and in addition get a QR code to point out, with out having to pay since their resort invoice will already embody a Venice lodging payment.
After COVID-19 lockdowns devastated Venice’s tourism trade, town of slender alleyways, canals and islands has been making an attempt to rethink its relationship with guests in a extra sustainable method whereas additionally in search of to incentivize its residents to remain put.
Venice has been pressured to take motion in response to the regular exodus of Venetians to the mainland and stress from UNESCO and environmentalists, who additionally lobbied efficiently to have the federal government ban massive cruise ships from crusing previous St. Mark’s Sq. and thru the Giudecca canal.
Venice has been pointing to longer-term vacationers as key to its survival since they have a tendency to spend extra. Brugnaro stated by no means does the brand new day-tripper contribution discourage tourism general, however simply seeks to handle it higher. He acknowledged the customer program will most likely have glitches and can have to be amended. However he stated that after years of examine and discuss, it was time to roll it out.