Venice is the city of gondolas and a tourist paradise. It attracts about 30 million visitors every year and the city administrators want to improve the economy by tapping the potentials of tourism. They plan to impose a nominal charge labeled as entry tax on day-trippers. This will be around $3.4 (€3) per head and will vary from $6.8 (€6) to $11.4 (€10) depending on the season. It will be a part of the incoming fare irrespective of the mode of Travel and implementation will be effective from May 1. This will not apply to those who have booked hotel rooms because the existing system ensures that anyone who spends at least one night in the city pays a tourist tax.

The Guardian reports that Venice’s mayor, Luigi Brugnaro mentioned another aspect tourists must note. He says, “We don’t want Venice to become a theme park.” From 2022, those who plan to visit must “reserve access” to the city and modalities are being worked out. Those who do not reserve a spot might face problems.

Entry tax will help the city

The Italian parliament has approved the imposition of an entry tax for day-trippers to Venice and gave the green signal in December. In the opinion of Mayor Brugnaro, the basic intention of this tax is to give the city an identity of its own.

He pointed out that when day-trippers depart from the city, they leave behind trash and destroy the Environment. The Guardian says the money collected through this tax will go for not just cleanup operations but also for the implementation of beautification programs to “raise decorum.”

The proposal has its plus points

The lagoon city of Venice plans to impose a tax on those who come for a day, do not contribute much to the economy but leave behind a lot of rubbish that destroys the beauty and needs cleaning up.

Millions of tourists arrive every year. The 58th Venice Biennale opens on 11 May and it will see an increase in footfalls. The organizers are unsure of how visitors will react to this entry tax. Incidentally, the city faced the fury of floods in November last that damaged many sites of historical importance.

The Art Newspaper adds that the scheme has provisions of penalties in the form of fines for those who try to avoid paying the tax.

The fines could range from $114 (€100) to $456 (€400) and the hotel lobby supports the initiative. Claudio Scarpa who is associated with the Venetian Association of Hoteliers wants day-trippers to pay up. They usually come in the morning, leave in the evening and their visits have very little to do with the city's economy but their brief stay takes a heavy toll on services. Most of them appear to have scant regard for the environment.