Bloomberg reports that to help control tourism, Venice soon plans to charge an access fee for visitors and require reservations to ensure entrance quotas.
The massively popular Italian city has suffered from over-tourism for years and debates of ways to better control the flow of incoming visitors had been happening for a long time. However during the COVID pandemic, residents and officials got a better taste of what their city can be like without a massive influx of tourists. The city was more peaceful, lagoon waters cleared, wildlife returned, and those who lived in the famous city had space to, well, live their lives.
COVID notwithstanding, they all liked what they saw and experienced. So plans are being made to regulate and limit tourism.
Large cruise ships have already been officially banned from docking inside the lagoon. There will also soon be an entry fee to enter the historic center, with plans for turnstiles at important access points. Entry fees may cost anywhere from 3 euros (roughly U.S. $3.50) to 10 euros (currently about $11.70), depending on what season it is and on how many tourists are expected to enter the city on any given day.
It was noted that residents and their relatives, as well as tourists who have reservations in Venice hotels, would likely be exempt from the entry fee.
Plans are also underway for daily caps on the number of visitors allowed into Venice, which will be carried out via a reservation system.
Back in 2018 and 2019, Venice had plans for entry fees to begin in 2020 but COVID stopped them from happening. The reservation system is a new idea. The two systems are currently set to be in place by the summer of 2022.
There are still arguments about charging tourists to visit Venice. City councilor Marco Gasparinetti suggested that the proposed system would turn the city into a “theme park.” His alternate suggestion is that access be restricted only in notoriously crowded areas, such as St. Mark’s Square.
Time will tell what the final decision will be.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary