Venice authorities decided to organize a new tourist entry system back in 2018. It was supposed to start operating on July 1, 2020, but the introduction was suspended due to the cessation of international tourism during the coronavirus pandemic. However, in the spring of 2022, the tourist flow to the City of Canals almost recovered. On the Easter weekend of April 16-17, about 125 thousand people visited Venice, and a load of hotels was 80%.
"Tourism in Venice is reviving. Today, many people have realized that booking visits to the city are the right way to more balanced management of tourist flows. We will be the first in the world to conduct this difficult experiment," Mayor Luigi Brugnaro wrote on Twitter following the Easter weekend.
A system of pre-booking visits will be introduced in the city from June to regulate the tourist flow. It will be tested for six months and will remain free for tourists during this time. If the authorities recognize the experiment as successful, from January 2023, the service will become paid. Fees will depend on the number of tourists planning to visit Venice on the same day. The innovation will not affect residents and tourists staying overnight in hotels.
Visitors must still pay a local tax of 1 to 5 euros for each person per night, depending on the hotel grade and the time of year. It will affect only tourists who come to the city for one day. The local police will use cameras to monitor the flow of visitors- and one-day travelers intended to get deployed across the city. Historical sites will be closed with the gates and tourists will have to show the tickets at the entrance.
The deputy mayor for social welfare, tourism, and economic development in the city of Venice, Simone Venturini, explained that "the aim is to discourage one-day tourism, hit-and-run tourism, arriving in one day and leaving in the same day, tiring and stressing the city, and encouraging slower tourism instead". One-day tourism brings a lot of damage to the city and its inhabitants. It influences the ecological situation as people, coming for one day, strives to see as many sights as possible and use Vaporetto services more often.
Because of the large amounts of fuel utilized, these ships are harmful to the city's ecosystem. In addition, many Venetians leave the city because life seems impossible because of the high flow of tourists. People flock to Venice during the peak season, which runs from May to October, and during the Venice Carnival, which takes place in February. It gets hard for locals to do their daily routines such as using public transport, shopping and even moving around the streets.
Coronavirus brought not only falling incomes and unemployment but also an opportunity to rethink the principles of the tourism industry and make them more responsible. Venetians want to make tourism more profitable. They hope that it will be possible to develop an economy that will not completely depend on tourists but attract foreign investors and expand the influence of urban universities.
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