Venice to introduce a day tripper tax, but why?

Venice to introduce a day tripper tax, but why?

The 'City of Canals' is romanticised for its gondola rides, love bridges and of course, the opera but there are cracks beneath the surface of the popular European destination
07 September 23
Venice Introduces Day Tripper Tax

In 2024, Venice's 'day tripper tax' will be a relatively nominal fee of €5 per adult (over 14), and will be implemented during peak weekends and holiday days on a trial basis to begin with.

Visited every year by thousands of tourists for its history, the picturesque waterways and the city's incredible architecture, Venice is not only one of the most beautiful cities in the world, but it is also a sinking city with a dwindling local population, that experiences over-tourism.

And, the city's local government are trying to combat these issues.

Unbeknownst to many, Venice is not a standard city but is in fact actually an archipelago of small islands, each connected by the famous bridges and canals, but this also means that Venice is a historic city build on relatively unstable, marshy land - making for less than ideal foundations for further construction, large numbers of visitors and of course, environmental changes.

With the settling of this marshland beneath the city over hundreds of years, coupled with rising sea levels and other environmental factors and changes, Venice is sinking.

At numerous times throughout the year, the city experiences serious flooding and the city struggles to cope with increased waste disposal when tourists and visitors increase.

But, why is the city introducing a day tripper tax?

According to the local authorities approximately four-fifths of tourist visit Venice as a day trip.

“The aim (of the day tripper tax) is to disincentivise daily tourism in certain periods, in line with the fragility and uniqueness of the city,” the council’s statement said.

Tourist taxes are not uncommon, particularly in large cities that both benefit and rely on tourism, and experience some level of environmental destruction due to the same tourism.

Tourist visit fees are often implemented on hotel bills for any overnight stays, and are particularly found in large cities like New York, Dubai and other European countries such as Greece, parts of Spain and of course, major cities such as Paris.

According to the European Commission (EC), the average price of this overnight tourism tax ranges between €0.10 and €3 per adult, per night stayed.

With this in mind, it does make Venice's tourist day tripper seem quite hefty, and unique as it will be for all tourists visiting for just the day. Tourists staying overnight in Venice hotels will be exempt from this day tripper tax, as a tourist tax will already be added to their hotel bill.

However, the city's officials have been quick to re-affirm that the implementation of this day tripper tax is not for financial gain.

When will this day tripper tax be implemented?

Although the idea was initially floated in 2019, the day tripper tax will officially be trialled over thirty days in 2024, specifically Italian vacation periods and peak weekends throughout spring and summer.

The exact dates are yet to be confirmed, although this is expected on September 12.

It has not been confirmed how the day-tripper tax will be implemented and policed, but the €5 fee is expected to be levied on any visitors over the age of 14.

Some individuals may be exempt from the fee including commuters working within the city boundaries of Venice or on its smaller islands, students, residents of the Veneto region (which encompasses the city), and individuals who contribute to local property taxes.