Venice will oblige day-trippers to make reservations and pay a fee to visit the historic lagoon city, in an attempt to better manage visitors who often far outnumber residents.
Venice officials have unveiled new rules for day-trippers to La Serenissima, which come into effect in January 2023. Tourists who don't stay overnight in hotels or other lodgings will have to sign up online for the day they plan to come and pay a fee, ranging from €3 to €10 ($3.13 to $10.43), depending on advance booking, if it's peak season or the city is very crowded.
Transgressors risk fines as high as €300 if they are stopped and unable to show proof they booked and paid with a QR code.
About 80 percent of tourists come to Venice just for the day. In 2019, the last full year of tourism before the pandemic, 19 million day-trippers visited and provided just a fraction of the revenue from those staying for at least one night. Furthermore, nearly 2 million visitors arrive on cruise ships and spend almost nothing when visiting, preferring to make the most of the onboard food and beverage deals. It seems entirely fair and reasonable that the city generates an income from visitors that it can then re-invest in maintaining its existence and providing services to its long suffering residents.
Venice is the first city in the world putting such a system for day-only visitors in place, says
Simone Venturini, deputy mayor. He hopes that the fee-and-reservation obligation will “reduce frictions between day visitors and residents”. At peak times, tourists can outnumber residents two to one, in a city that measures just 5 sq.km (2 sq.miles) in area.