Virus-hit Venice delays planned tourist tax until 2022

Virus-hit Venice delays planned tourist tax until 2022
Venice's St Mark's Square in October 2020. Photo: AFP
The city of Venice said on Friday it would again delay the introduction of a tourist tax, as it seeks to recover after flooding and the coronavirus pandemic decimated visitor numbers.
Authorities in the canal city said the levy, targeted at day-trippers excluded from an existing tax on tourists staying overnight, will now not be implemented until January 1st, 2022.
 
 
“In light of the current situation, linked to the Covid-19 pandemic, we have decided to make a big gesture to help encourage the return of tourists,” said Michele Zuin, the city councillor for budget issues, in a statement.
 
Venice and its famous canals are usually packed with tourists, and the new tax was intended to help cover the costs of keeping the city clean and safe after years of problems caused by overtourism.
 
Venice usually struggles under the weight of too many visitors, but has had the opposite problem this year. AFP
 
Unlike the existing levy for stays in hotels or rented accommodation, it would apply to day-trippers, including those who arrive on cruise ships.
 
But tourism first dwindled in Venice following record flooding last November, and then stopped entirely for several months this year when coronavirus swept through Italy.
 
Ongoing restrictions in Italy and around the world continue to hit tourism.

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