Venice will now start charging tourists an entrance fee

The new charge was announced in a tweet by the city's mayor.

If a romantic gondola ride in Venice is on your bucket list for 2019, it will cost you slightly more for the experience now the Italian city has introduced a new 'tax' on tourists.


The new charge - known as contributo di sbarco or disembarkation contribution - was announced in a tweet by the city's mayor Luigi Brugnaro at the end of December with the words: "Now the landing contribution to #Venezia is law!"

Venice already charges tourists for staying overnight in its hotels - which brought in $38.6 million in 2017. But this tax is designed to target day-trippers, many of whom come on cruise ships, and make up more than half of the estimated 30 million tourists visiting the city each year.It will cost up to $11.50 to enter the World Heritage site known for its intricate network of canals and alleyways, which will be used to meet the costs of cleaning and maintaining the city.

The tax forms part of Italy's 2019 budget and was brought in after long discussions with Brussels. The city council now has two months to work out how it will operate the charge, which could be included in the cost of a bus, train or cruise ship ticket.

 Image: Statista


But there will be exemptions - including students, those travelling to Venice briefly on business, as well as regional residents.

And it's not yet clear whether the 'landing tax' will replace the hotel tax.

The cost of tourism

A view of flooded Saint Mark Square during a period of sesonal high wather in Venice, Italy October 29, 2018. Reuters/Manuel Silvestri - RC19200862F0 Venice's Piazza San Marco flooded in October 2018 Image: Reuters/Manuel Silvestri


Venetians have long been concerned and have even protested about the impact of over-tourism on the character of their city, including additional wear and tear on historic monuments such as St Mark's Basilica and the Rialto Bridge.

It's also harder and more expensive to clear up after tourists in Venice than in other Italian cities, since materials must be brought in and out by boat.

In the summer, tourists generate so much waste, the council has to empty bins every half an hour, according to reports.

Towards sustainability

Tourist taxes are becoming increasingly common in parts of Europe and around the globe, as local governments try and mitigate the environmental impacts of tourism.

Elsewhere in Italy, other cities have imposed a tax on visitors, including Florence, which charges up to 5 euros ($5.70) for overnight stays. The mayor of Florence recently called on other Italian cities to follow Venice's example by charging day-trippers too.

"What the government has done in Venice is a great idea and can be a template for a national law that introduces a tourist congestion charge across Italy," he is reported as saying.

While in Spain's Balearic Islands, the Sustainable Tourist Tax doubled in May 2018 to 4 euros ($4.60) per person, per night. The money is used to protect the islands' natural resources.

Tourism, travel and its enabling ecosystem is an important driver for growth - according to the World Economic Forum's Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report 2017, accounting for 10% of global GDP and 1 in 10 jobs on the planet.

But taxes in popular destinations such as Venice will help balance this appetite for travel with the needs of the environment.

Reprinted with permission of World Economic Forum. Read the original article here.

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

4 reasons Martin Luther King, Jr. fought for universal basic income

In his final years, Martin Luther King, Jr. become increasingly focused on the problem of poverty in America.

(Photo by J. Wilds/Keystone/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Despite being widely known for his leadership role in the American civil rights movement, Martin Luther King, Jr. also played a central role in organizing the Poor People's Campaign of 1968.
  • The campaign was one of the first to demand a guaranteed income for all poor families in America.
  • Today, the idea of a universal basic income is increasingly popular, and King's arguments in support of the policy still make a good case some 50 years later.
Keep reading Show less

Why avoiding logical fallacies is an everyday superpower

10 of the most sandbagging, red-herring, and effective logical fallacies.

Photo credit: Miguel Henriques on Unsplash
Personal Growth
  • Many an otherwise-worthwhile argument has been derailed by logical fallacies.
  • Sometimes these fallacies are deliberate tricks, and sometimes just bad reasoning.
  • Avoiding these traps makes disgreeing so much better.
Keep reading Show less

Why I wear my life on my skin

For Damien Echols, tattoos are part of his existential armor.

Videos
  • In prison Damien Echols was known by his number SK931, not his name, and had his hair sheared off. Stripped of his identity, the only thing he had left was his skin.
  • This is why he began tattooing things that are meaningful to him — to carry a "suit of armor" made up the images of the people and objects that have significance to him, from his friends to talismans.
  • Echols believes that all places are imbued with divinity: "If you interact with New York City as if there's an intelligence behind... then it will behave towards you the same way."
Keep reading Show less