Venice abandons tourist fee due to coronavirus devastation – but will free entry last?

Italian holiday hotspot Venice has put its obligatory entry fee for tourists on hold after the devastating effects of coronavirus. The controversial fee was due to come into action on June 1 2020, however, following a global lockdown, the city’s officials have decided to press pause on changes for now as part of a budget rethink.


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Originally due to come into action on July 1 2020, the charge would see tourists paying between three and eight euros per day to visit the city.

It would only apply to those heading into the canal filled region for day trips, no those staying overnight.

Plans stated that the council would levy the entry fee, which would start at a standard rate of €3, rise to €6 on busier days, and peak season entry would cost €8.

Those entering on boats or ships would pay €5 per day.

If visiting during “critical” periods including summer weekends they will have to pay €10 (£8.90) to access the World Heritage site which encompasses the city centre and islands of the Venice Lagoon.

However, as the city has been forced to close to tourists amid a global lockdown to tackle the pandemic, local officials have deemed the fee an unwise move to kick start their tourist season.

Mayor Luigi Brugnaro said that introducing the fee now would be “ill-timed”.

Despite the timing, though, Brugnaro remains positive about the future and said the administration has plans to bring “ a different kind of tourism in Venice” with a battle against overcrowding remaining at the forefront.

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The tourist charge will still go ahead in the future to help aid the local council’s plans, but will not begin on April 1, 2021, instead, a year later than initially planned.

Venice will continue to charge a tourist tax to those who visit the city once the pandemic has eased, but is allowing hotels and other tourist accommodation centres more time to declare it.

The budget also took into account other taxes which may be affected during the city’s closure.

A city that relies upon and thrives because of tourism, Venice has been hit hard by the impact of coronavirus.


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The Italian government has been called into action to help keep the city afloat.

This includes extending help to cover debts incurred by businesses as a result of forced closures and to maintain local public transport which has seen a major decrease in revenue with the lack of foot traffic.

he council remain positive about regaining their popularity in the future though, with Brugnaro saying “Venice is Venice.”

In recent years Venice authorities reported a number of antisocial situations with tourists at the centre, one of the main instigators for a change in tourism.

Last summer alone local police handed out 100 fines to tourists for anti-social behaviour in two months.

While the fee may not be on hand to tackle some of these issues initially, the government remain firm that they will continue to combat some of the problems brought about by tourism, and encourage positive tourism for the city.

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