(CNN) – The countdown has begun. From January 16, 2023, visitors to Venice – that jewel in the tourist crown of Italy – will have to pay for the privilege.
It is poised to become the first city in the world to require an entrance fee. The launch date was announced at a press conference on Friday by Venice’s Councilor for Tourism, Simon Venturini.
Venturini called the new move a “great revolution” and a solution to the problem of over-tourism with which the city of Lagoon has been struggling for decades.
Tickets will range from a minimum of three-euros to 10 euros. Pricing will not be determined, but will vary according to the number of visitors: more requests for admission, more costs.
Venturini explained that the goal is not to “close the city”, but to reduce “tourist peaks” so that people can book their presence. He said, “Venice is a vibrant city and it must live that way.”
The complex ticket booking system and its online platform will be unveiled this fall. There are many exceptions to the admission ticket order, explained Councilor Michelle Zhui for the budget.
Residents and children under the age of six will be exempted, such as people with disabilities, homeowners who come to the city for health reasons or visit relatives and those who come to attend a sports or cultural event.
Overnight hotel guests will also avoid paying the entrance fee as they will already be paying travel tax through their hotel.
“It’s not a system to make cash but to manage the flow of tourists,” Xui stressed. The income from the entrance fee will be reduced to the tax of the Venetians, which is already too high due to the large number of tourists who need to be accommodated.
Entrance fees apply to the historic center of Venice and the following islands:
Lido di Venezia, Palestrina, Murano, Burano, Torsello, Saint’Arasmo, Mazorbo, Mesorbeto, Vignol, s. Andrea, La Certosa, s. Cervolo, s. Clemente and Poveglia.
Penalties for ticket violations range from 50 euros to 300 euros.
“Kovid made us realize that the everyday phenomenon that Kovid was before is no longer acceptable – the mindset has changed, as has the sensitivity. [towards crowds]”He said.
He explained that the booking system would “give us an opportunity to know how many people are in the forecast for that day and to calibrate services by number.”
Venturini also said in April that the portal would flag people if they wanted to change their mind.
“We can say, ‘Dear visitor, we do not advise you to come on this date because it is Ferragosto. [August public holiday] Or Easter – there will be a lot of people so it will prevent you from visiting peacefully, and if you do it a week later you will be able to enjoy your visit more, ”he said.
Venturini also predicted that Venice would not be the last to introduce the charge.
“I think many other European tanks that live with a significant number of detractors are looking at us to understand how they can perform. [a similar scheme]”He said.
These fees attracted visitors to such an extent that the number of visitors increased from 40,000 in 2009 to 1 million in 2018.
Main photo: Pre-pandemic crowd in St. Mark’s Square, Venice. (Miguel Medina / AFP / Getty Images)