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Venice is the first major city in the world to charge an entrance fee for tourists

Venice is the first major city in the world to charge an entrance fee for tourists

Venice is the first major city in the world to charge an entrance fee for tourists. The system, which has been planned for a long time, went into effect on Thursday, April 25, A. wrote Reuters.

At Venice's Santa Lucia train station, signs warn tourists that between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. they must pay €5 to enter the beach town. Through a downloadable app, travelers can choose in advance the day they want to enter the city, and receive a QR code with the ticket, which must then be scanned.

Although there are no turnstiles on the bridges leading into the city, inspectors check those who enter at random, and fines of between 50 and 300 euros can be imposed on those who do not register. Those with hotel reservations and visitors under the age of 14 do not have to pay an entrance fee, but must also register. Venice residents, students and employees are exempt from paying fees.

Tourists show the QR code on their smartphones to prove they have paid the entrance fee imposed by the Municipality of Venice on April 25, 2024 – Photograph: Manuel Silvestri/Reuters

City Mayor Luigi Brugnaro says the entrance fee is necessary to “protect” the World Heritage Site from the effects of overtourism and reduce the number of visitors. The mayor hopes this will make Venice livable again. “We are not closing the city, we are just trying to make it livable,” he said earlier. According to Simone Venturini, the city councilor in charge of tourism, in the future, in certain periods of the year, higher entrance fees may be charged.

In addition to imposing entrance fees, the city banned large excursion boats from entering the lake and announced a new size limit for tour groups. According to the City of Venice, 5,500 people booked tickets for April 25, Italy's national holiday, bringing an additional 27,500 euros into the city's coffers on the first day. Although Brugnaro denied that revenue generation was the main goal of the measure, he promised to reduce local taxes on residents if the program succeeded.

Not all Venetians are happy with the new entry fees, and according to Federica Toninello, president of the apartment association ASC, the €5 entry fee won't really deter hordes of tourists. “The problem isn't day trippers, it's things like the lack of affordable housing. What we really need are policies that help residents, like setting rules that restrict Airbnb and its peers. According to Matteo Cecchi, president of local national activist group, it's not “It's possible to charge an entrance fee for an entire city.” This is just turning the city into a park. “This paints a bad picture of Venice.” Guardians.

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