Venice has announced that it will charge its visitors an entry fee from next year as it tries to tackle crowding. From January 16, tourists will have to book their visit online before travelling and pay a basic fee ranging between €3 (Rs 247) and €10 (Rs 823).
The scheme makes Venice the first city in the world to require an entrance fee. “We are pioneers, the first city in the world to apply a measure that could be revolutionary,” Simone Venturini, the Venice tourism chief, told The Sunday Times.
He also called the new measure a solution for the "overtourism" problem that the city has been struggling with for years.
Tourism in the lagoon city is bouncing back after the Covid pandemic with daily visitors often outnumbering the 50,000 residents of the city centre, The Sunday Times reported.
The price of the ticket was be dynamic and will depend upon the number of visitors--the more requests for entry, the higher the cost.
While the ticket booking system will be unveiled soon, there are several exceptions to the ticket mandate, councilor for the budget Michele Zuin told CNN.
Residents, disabled people, homeowners, people who visit the city for medical reasons or to visit relatives or to attend cultural events and children under the age of six will be exempt from buying entry tickets, the publication added. Overnight hotel guests will not have to pay an entry fee because they will already be paying a tourist tax at their hotel.
Visitors who violate the entry fee rule will have to pay a fine which will range from €50 (Rs 4,116) to €300 (Rs 24,701), CNN reported.Read more: Venice under water: Renaissance city flooded as complex dam system fails to activate amid high tide