Venice, Sep 12 (IANS) In a bid to control excess tourism, authorities in Venice are expected to approve the trial of a 5-euro ($5.37) daily fee for all visitors over the age of 14 years to book their entry to the Italian city in advance.
In a statement, City council member for tourism Simone Venturini said the trial will be implemented during peak tourist periods in 2024, reports the BBC
“Venice is among the most visited European cities… (and so)suffers the most from excess tourism,” he said.
“The objective is to invite daily tourists to choose (off-peak) days. We want to test (the fee) and, if needed, improve it. We cannot discuss for (an) other 40 years what’s best to do.”
Excess tourism has become an urgent issue for Venice which is just 7.6 sq.km in size, buthosted almost 13 million tourists in 2019, according to the Italian national statistics institute.
Numbers of visitors are expected to exceed pre-pandemic levels in the coming years.
According to Citizens associations Ocio and Venissa, while there are 49,693 beds for tourists, there are 49,308 for residents — meaning that beds for visitors exceed beds for residents, the BBC reported.
Earlier this year, Unesco had said that Venice should be added to a list of world heritage sites in danger, as the impact of climate change and mass tourism threaten to cause irreversible changes to it.
In 2021, large cruise ships were banned from entering the historic centre of Venice via the Giudecca canal after a ship crashed into a harbour.