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Venice announces dates for 'tourist tax' in 2024

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AFP/The Local - [email protected]
Venice announces dates for 'tourist tax' in 2024
Tourists crowd the Ponte della Paglia bridge in Venice on June 5th, 2021. Photo by MIGUEL MEDINA / AFP.

Venice announced on Thursday that it would introduce a fee on 29 days next year for day-trippers to visit the city's overcrowded centre as it seeks to tackle 'overtourism' on peak travel dates.

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To begin with, day visitors will need to pay five euros to enter the city centre during the first peak tourism period of the year, from April 25th to May 5th.

The fee will also apply for the rest of the weekends in May and June, as well as the first two weekends of July, Venice city council confirmed.

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Tickets will be required between 8.30am and 4pm, the council said, and tickets will be sold via an online platform that's expected to be up and running from January.

Authorities have debated for years - without taking concrete action - how to regulate the millions of visitors to the city, who come to see sights including St Mark's Square, the Rialto Bridge and its countless picturesque canals.

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The ticketing plan had been repeatedly postponed in recent years, amid concerns it would dent tourist revenue and compromise freedom of movement.

But city authorities finally decided earlier this year to push forward with the experiment after UNESCO warned it could list the city as an at-risk world heritage site, partly due to the impact of overtourism.

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"Venice is the first city in the world to introduce such a system, which could serve as a model for other fragile and delicate cities that must be protected," Mayor Luigi Brugnaro said in a statement.

But he called it a "first step" rather than a "revolution" and said the council is ready to make changes to ensure it works.

 

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