Venice to introduce €5 fee for day-trip tourists in bid to combat numbers

Tourists on a gondola in Venice  (AFP via Getty Images)
Tourists on a gondola in Venice (AFP via Getty Images)

Venice is set to approve €5 (£4.30) charge for daily visitors in a bid to combat over-tourism.

The Italian tourist attraction is just 2.7 square miles in size but attracted 13 million visitors in 2019, with numbers expected to eclipse that in coming years.

Under the trial, day visitors over the age of 14 would have to pay the charge and book their entry to the city in advance. Those staying overnight will be exempt.

Speaking to the BBC, city member for tourism Simone Venturini said the trial will run during peak tourist periods next year.

“Venice is among the most visited European cities... [and so] suffers the most from excess tourism,” he said.

He added: “The objective is to invite daily tourists to choose [off-peak] days.”

The fee has long been mooted, but has been delayed over objections.

Experts earlier this year warned Italy was not doing enough to protect Venice from the impact of climate change and over-tourism, suggesting that the iconic city be added to UNESCO’s list of world heritage sites in danger.

UNESCO said measures taken by Italy to combat the issues were “currently insufficient and not detailed enough.”

Venice, known for its canals and cultural sites, has been struggling with mass tourism for years.

On a single day during the 2019 Carnival, some 193,000 people squeezed into the historic centre.

The huge levels of tourism causes problems for locals as the accommodation for visitors can often outweigh that available for residents.