Europe, Italy

Europe, Italy

Overcrowded Venice to introduce tax on tourists from next summer

“The aim is to improve the quality of life of residents,” says mayor

10/10/2019 8:30:00 AM

“The aim is to improve the quality of life of residents,” says mayor

Venice is to introduce a tax on tourists from next summer, the city’s authorities have announced.

The tax, which Venice council is calling “a contribution for access” to the World Heritage site, will begin on July 1.The charge has been discussed for more than a year but its introduction has been delayed several times as Venice worked out how best to levy it.

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The aim of the controversial tax is to make the millions of day-trippers who descend on La Serenissima each year contribute to the upkeep of the lagoon city.“The aim is to improve the quality of life of residents,” Luigi Brugnaro, Venice’s mayor, said earlier this year. “We’re not in it to make money.”

When the system is launched, tourists will pay €3 during the low season, €8 during high season and €10 during “critical” periods, such as summer weekends, when visitor numbers reach excessive levels.The charge will also apply to islands in the Venetian lagoon such as Murano, famous for its glass-blowing workshops.

The tax will not apply to Venetians or people visiting the city to study or work, said Michele Zuin, a city official.Revenue from the charge will be used to offset the high charges that Venetians pay for services such as rubbish collection, which is more expensive because of the city’s canals.

The tax will apply to tourists who arrive by coach, cruise ship, water taxi, plane or train.They will be able to pay the charge online with a credit card or from machines “installed in strategic points” around Venice, officials said.The council did not say what penalties would apply to tourists who fail to pay the charge, although in February authorities suggested they would be hit with a fine of up to €450.

Read more: The Telegraph »

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