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Venice begins to charge an entrance fee

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Millions of visitors are lured to Venice every year, which is trying to gain control over mass tourism. From Thursday, day-trippers must pay an entrance fee on the busiest days. Illustration photo: Cornelius Poppe / NTB

Of NTB | 25.04.2024 04:22:47

Culture and entertainment: The city with the lagoon and the many canals will be the first to introduce such a payment system in an attempt to reduce the number of tourists who crowd Venice during the high season.

Thursday is the first of 29 days this year on which those who are not going to spend the night must pay 5 euros – just under 60 kroner – to enter the city. Admittedly, there will be no barriers to enforce, but inspectors will take random samples to check whether people have registered and paid. Those who do not have their sewing matters in order can be fined between 50 and 300 euros.

– We are not closing the city, we are just trying to make it livable, mayor Luigi Brugnaro warns, adding that “no one has tried this before”.

Last year, around 20 million people visited Venice. Around half spent the night in hotels or holiday apartments in the city, which has around 49,000 permanent residents, but more than twice as many hotel beds.

In addition to charging an entrance fee, Venice has announced a maximum size of tourist groups, and large cruise ships are no longer allowed to enter the lagoon. Last year, the city narrowly avoided being put on Unesco’s list of “world heritage in danger”, partly because the UN body sees the city as addressing concerns that mass tourism will destroy the fragile ecosystem.

– Mass tourism is a challenge for all European tourist towns, but being small and vulnerable makes us even more vulnerable. That’s why we take action earlier than others, in the hope of finding solutions, says city councilor Simone Venturini, who is responsible for tourism and social conditions in the city at the heart of the Adriatic Sea.

(© NTB)

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