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What does the 25-person limit imposed on groups visiting Venice mean?

Venice is the capital city of the Veneto region in northeastern Italy and is a popular tourist destination. However, starting June 2024, groups of tourists cannot exceed 25 people. The restriction comes with the hope to reduce the pressure that tourism has had on the canal city. 


 


A fee of €5 has already been imposed on day-trippers with the aim to reduce the number of visitors to the city – a fee that was delayed in being introduced due to the interruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The city council hope that these measures will reduce mass tourism – especially day-trippers- as these visitors spend a slither of the amount of money that tourists who stay in the city do, and cause congestion in the already crowded and narrow streets. 


 


These measures are only the latest being introduced to try to curb mass tourism in the city. The local council have introduced these measures to ‘protect the fragility of Venice’ and make the small city a more enjoyable place to visit. Cruise ships have also been prohibited from entering the city after a large cruise ship crashed in 2021 and UNESCO recommended adding Venice to the list of world heritage sites to protect it and prevent irreversible damage to the historic city. 


 


Along with this, loudspeakers have been banned due to them “generating confusion and disturbances”. Security official for the city, Elisabetta Pesce announced how the new policies were to avoid congestion and move people through the historic city. These measures also cover the highly visited islands of Murano, Burano and Torcello. City officials hope that the introduction of these news policies will significantly improve the quality of life for the city's residents and instead encourage tourists to spend a longer amount of time in Venice. 


 


Initially these plans will be implemented through a 30-day trials period to assess their efficiency. But as on the city’s busiest days up to 120,000 people can visit the city, the policies are sure to regulate the flow of tourists around Venice. Exemptions will be made for students, children and commuters, who will not be expected to pay the €5 charge being implemented for day trippers.


 


The proposed measures are a step in the right direction in reducing mass tourism and congestion in the historic city of Venice, but as summer rolls around, the city’s residents and local authorities will be eagerly anticipating the effects of the measures they are introducing to see if they are viable options to preserve the popular canal city. 


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