Venice becomes first city to charge tourist entry fee

ByTravelling For Business

April 25, 2024
Venice becomes first city to charge tourist entry feeVenice becomes first city to charge tourist entry fee

Venice has made history by becoming the first city in the world to implement an entry fee for tourists, aimed at controlling the overwhelming number of visitors crowding its delicate streets.

The system, which began operating at 8:30 am on Thursday, requires day-trippers to purchase a €5 QR code for access to the city on 29 designated days throughout the year. The initiative was met with protests organised by The Whole City Together group and various Venetian trade associations.

Visitors were guided through access points where stewards provided information, and officials checked documentation and resolved disputes. Mayor Luigi Brugnaro explained that the objective was to make Venice more livable by redirecting visitors away from peak tourist days. The initial phase of the scheme includes 29 chargeable days, mainly weekends during the summer months.

Simone Venturini, the councillor responsible for tourism, clarified that the fee primarily targets medium and short-range tourists, rather than international visitors who may find the €5 charge negligible. Exemptions are granted to day-trippers from the Veneto region, although they must still book and present their QR code on busy days.

However, not everyone welcomed the change. A 74-year-old pensioner from Verona expressed frustration with the system, stating that it would not resolve Venice’s problems.

The introduction of the entry fee in Venice is closely monitored by other cities facing similar challenges with overtourism. As the city embarks on this groundbreaking initiative, its success or failure will likely influence strategies adopted by other popular tourist destinations worldwide.