Venice Tourist Tax - Gondolas
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The Venice Tourist Tax Has Begun In 2024

The Venice tourist tax has finally been implemented after years of discussion and delays and this guide will help you plan your Venice vacation with confidence.

Venice Tourist Tax - Gondolas

Why Is There A Tourist Tax In Venice?

There are a range of issues affecting the residence of this amazing city, and this tourist tax is one attempt to control it. According to CBS News:

The measure is designed to counter over-tourism and mitigate the deleterious impact large crowds can have on some of the city’s fragile sites, while also persuading some tourists to visit during less busy times of the year.

CBS News

Is There A Tourist Tax Today?

As of April 25, 2024, Venice has implemented a tourist tax to manage the tourism better in the city. This €5 fee is currently in a test phase and runs from April 25th until July 14, with plans to permanently implement this fee in the near future. In this test phase there are no limits to the number of tourists who can visit the city, but future plans do include a cap.

Venice Tourist Tax - Empty Piazza

How Much Is Venice Charging Tourists?

Anyone visiting the city needs to register and pay the €5 fee on the city’s website to receive a QR code that will be checked when entering the city. Without this code, a visitor can be subjected to fines from €50 to €300, and 15,000 people have already registered. If you are staying overnight in hotels or rentals, you will still need to register, but there is no fee because these are targeted at day-trippers who arrive on cruise ships, only spend the day and don’t spend much money in the city.

When Is The Tourist Tax Enforced?

As of April 25, 2024, the tourist tax in Venice is active on the following days in 2024: 

  • April 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30
  • May 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 11, 12, 18, 19, 25, 26
  • June 8, 9, 15, 16, 22, 23, 29, 30
  • July 6, 7, 13 and 14

After this test period, you can expect that these dates will expand.

Venice Tourist Tax - Racing Gondolas

Do I Have To Pay Tourist Tax In Venice?

There are a number of exemptions available to people and they are for:

  • Residents of the Region of Veneto
  • A Relative of a Resident of the Region of Veneto
  • Students
  • Venice Workers
  • Kids Under the age of 14
  • People participating in Sporting Events
  • People visiting healthcare facilities, prisons and courts

If you think you fit into one of these categories, you can request your exemption on the City of Venice’s Access Fee website. There are also areas around Venice that are exempt from the access fee. These include:

  • All of the mainland
  • The minor islands of the Venetian Lagoon
  • Tronchetto
  • The Maritime Station of Venice
  • Piazzale Roma
  • Fondamenta Santa Chiara
  • Fondamenta Santa Lucia
  • San Giobbe
Venice Tourist Tax - Flooding

The Complexities of Venice Visitors

Certainly during the tourist season Venice is anything but serene. Over-tourism is an ongoing major problem that they continue to deal with. In the not so distant past, Venice was largely populated by Venetians and the visitors were more interested in art, culture and the unique environment that Venice offers.

Today, Venice’s very tight streets are now crowded with a mass of cruise ship visitors, businesses who cater to them like tacky gift shops and street vendors who far outnumber the residents and overnight visitors who pay for lodging. Prior to the pandemic around 30 million people visited Venice annually. There have been plans for a tourist tax for a while that were planned to be implemented in 2023, once the post-pandemic crowds return.

Venice Needs An Access Fee

One of the rallying cries used by the residents fighting back against the onslaught of tourists is: Venice Isn’t Disneyland. While there are many causes and competing forces that are to blame for the problems created by the over-tourism, people generally agree that the main issue is the giant cruise ships that enter the lagoon. There is environmental damage caused by these ships, but the city had wanted to provide these tourists with a view from the water that admittedly is remarkable.

Venice Tourist Tax - rain

Background Of The Venice Visitor Problems

In addition to the environmental concerns, and there are many, the other problems these ships cause are due to the types of tourists that disembark and crowd into Piazza San Marco. Basically, these tourists take up a lot of space, but don’t proportionately support the economy by spending their tourist dollars (Euros) in the city.

Imagine a typical tourist from a cruise ship. Their lodging is their stateroom, so it’s already paid for and no B&B or hotel can get paid. Also, many of their meals are also paid for on the ship, so restaurants don’t get to take advantage of their visits either. Even tour guides would be coordinated with the cruise company and would likely only use staff from the boat. The result is an enormous crowd that doesn’t spend much money on land and crowds out others that would like to.

There is also a limit on the number of visitors possible when they need to find a hotel, book tours and eat at restaurants. If all they are doing is disembarking, the only limit would be the docking space available to the ships, and that could be almost limitless.

Destruction by Venice Visitors

One not so obvious impact of the overcrowding by day-tripping tourists in Venice is how they indirectly push out services that are important for normal daily life. If you are packed with visitors that only look to spend money on kitschy gifts, like masks, t-shirts, and imitation glass bowls all made in China, actual artisans, stores important to residents and other services get pushed out.

Venice Tourist Tax - Masks

Venice Travel And Tourists

Tourists in general, not just day-trippers, are leading the decline in daily life in Venice. Buildings and other assets are sold off to take advantage of the tourist dollars. An example is with the ancient Anatomical Theater in the Campo San Giacomo. It was sold and converted into a hotel and residence. In the same Campo, a university building was transformed into a hotel. These are eliminating important cultural gifts that residents could have enjoyed, but their disappearance has added to a decline. In 1960, there were 145k inhabitants. Today they are less than 50k.

Don’t Avoid The Venice Tourist Tax!

In case you are thinking there may be a way to avoid paying the Venice tourist fee, the fines for ticket violations will range from €50 to €300. The plan is that you could be stopped on the streets to make sure that either you paid the fee or you correctly have an exemption. Ten to fifteen “controllers” will be walking around enforcing the new rules. As someone who lives in Italy, I can assure you that it will be enforced and getting caught trying to avoid the cost would likely ruin your experience considerably more than a €10 fee.

Will This Tourist Tax Idea Spread?

Because of over-tourism problems in other European cities, Venice officials expect that they won’t be the last to introduce this type of charge. They believe that many other European cities, like Amsterdam and Barcelona, who also live with a significant number of tourists are watching this program to understand how they can introduce something similar.

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