In an effort to curb over-tourism in Venice, Italy, officials have decided to charge visitors a “tourist tax”.
Venetian authorities previously announced that tourists will have to buy tickets for between $3.14 and $10.56 per day to visit the city, but this tax will officially start on Jan. 16, 2023.
While the initial announcement was made earlier this year in an overarching effort to curb over-tourism, the official booking and payment system will finally commence a month later. This crackdown is being implemented due to the rising sea levels and further sinking of the ancient canal city.
Venezia city mayor Luigi Brugnaro tweeted in April that, “making the city bookable is the right way to take, for a more balanced management of tourism.” It will be the first city to experiment with this type of tax and will limit the number of tourists allowed in the city.
Not only has the rise of tourism impacted the physical city, it has also impacted the economics of the city. The cost of living has risen quite dramatically, so much so that the population of permanent residents has dropped 12,000 in the past five years. The latest tally in 2022 sees only 50,000 permanent residents in Venice.
As mentioned, this tax will be part of a larger plan to curb travelers in an effort to reduce the number of people in the city to 100,000 people per day. Along with the ticketing system, an extra 500 closed-circuit TV cameras will be installed to track the number of visitors.
It will be a tricky balance to maintain as tourism is vital to Venetians but it also is severely impacting the physical city, while also taking a toll on the local economy. It is so much of a concern that even UNESCO World Heritage Committee considered, but abandoned, adding Venice to its list of endangered heritage site.