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Smart City wants to sleep peacefully

Venice will begin an experiment to charge an “entrance fee” for visitors who plan to spend the night in the city this spring. The authorities promise that the tourist tax will be introduced in stages …

Smart City wants to sleep peacefully
At the end of December 2018, Venice adopted amendments to the budget law, which provide for the introduction of entry fees in the amount of 2.5 to 5 euros (up to 10 euros in high season) for all visitors who come to the city by any means of transport. This introduction will appear as an alternative to the current tourist tax (5 euros).

It is assumed that the new collection will cover only those visitors who come to Venice for one day and stay here for the night. This is important: thus, this list includes both excursionists arriving as part of organized groups, cruise passengers, as well as independent tourists traveling by train or car, that is, all those who come to Venice for the purpose of tourism.

According to the plans of the Venetian authorities, the new tax is able to bring the city from 40 to 50 million euros per year. This is more than the amount of tax on accommodation collected from those tourists who stay in the city for the night (30 million euros). According to preliminary data, in 2018 Venice, where officially 56 thousand inhabitants live, was visited by 33 million tourists. The number of those who come to the city only for a day is estimated from 22 to 27 million a year.

According to the authorities, the new tax is part of a general plan to turn Venice into a “smart city” by 2021. The mayor of Venice Luigi Brignaro promised to introduce a tax in February, when the famous Venice Carnival takes place.

Over the next month, the City Hall of Venice plans to finally determine the tax base, primarily with carriers. The authorities promise that the tax will be introduced in stages. According to preliminary data, cruise passengers will be the first tax payers, as they are easier to calculate.

As for those tourists who arrive by train or bus, the amount of tax will most likely be included in the price of the ticket. The timing of the introduction of this board will be announced soon.

“Entrance Tax” bypasses motorists
The most difficult thing is with travelers who arrive in Venice by private car. In this case, the city authorities will need to create software that will make it possible to pay tax, for example, through an application for smartphones. These visitors will be taxed last.

At the same time, the City Hall of Venice promises that the best services will be provided to tourists who have paid the “entrance tax”. For example, local museums will have more free days to visit, and more toilets will appear in the city. But for now, all this is only on paper.

It is noteworthy, but in UNESCO, with which the mayor of Venice discusses his initiative, they see the problem in another. The number of apartments managed by Airbnb in Venice has doubled between 2015 and 2018 and today is about 8 thousand. So, first of all, the Venetians are advised to tighten control over the use of housing for temporary rent and to tighten legislation in this area.

Recall that Venice continues to be a trendsetter and a source of high-profile incidents in the fight against the “anti-social” behavior of tourists. In the city it is forbidden to build new hotels in the center; at the gates there are turnstiles counting the number of visitors. In addition, there are many bans under the so-called “12 Golden Rules of Guest Conduct” introduced in August 2017. In autumn, the city authorities decided to punish with a fine of 50 to 500 euros those who just want to sit and lie down on the ground.

Venice’s “need” dictates fashion throughout Italy
The example of Venice turned out to be “contagious” for other Italian cities suffering from the influx of tourists. So, the Pecunia Factory, mayor of Riomaggiore, one of the most popular towns of the Ligurian coast in the territory of the Cinque Terre National Park, announced its readiness to introduce an entrance fee.

According to her, the problems that are being solved in Venice are both in Riomaggiore and in Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia and Manarola – all the municipalities of the popular direction of the eastern Ligurian Riviera. Riomaggiore alone was visited by 3.5 million tourists in 2018: an average of 80 visitors per inhabitant. At the same time, the vast majority of visitors stay overnight.

A similar number of tourists requires more and more funds from the city for the maintenance of infrastructure, so the mayor of Riomaggiore considers the introduction of an entrance tax a “necessity”.

Legally, such a fee has already been introduced and this year the city hall raises the tourist tax rate from 1 to 2 euros. They will be liable to all tourists who stay in Riomaggiore for up to 3 days.

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