This year (2024) the city of Venice is implementing a new day-tripper tax. On specific dates visitors coming to Venice but not staying over night will have to pay a €5 daily tax. The fine for failing to do so is €300 per person. On today’s 5 Things Friday we are going to look at 5 things you need to know about the new day-tripper tax in Venice.
1. Why Is There Day-Tripper Tax/Entrance Fee To Venice?
Since UNESCO threatened to put Venice on the Endangered World Heritage list the city has been working hard to cut back the numbers of daily visitors to Venice. This started with banning large cruise ships from coming into port. The average ship held 4000 people and there were typically around 5 to 7 ships in port at once. This meant 20,000+ tourists descending on the same small area (Rialto to the Bridge of Sighs) every single day of the tourist season. Add to that the bus tour people and you have an unsustainable travel problem.
** Amsterdam recently also made moves to ban cruise ships. Their environmental studies showed that one cruise ship in port for 24 hours emitted the same volume of nitrogen oxides into the atmosphere as 30,000 big rig trucks parked with their engines running for the same amount of time. And like Venice, Amsterdam always had more than just one ship in port – more like 5 to 7 ships. Read about it here.
On top of that, none of these people were paying tourist tax in Venice because none were staying overnight. The Boston Consulting Group study showed that 80% of the tourists coming to Venice did not stay overnight, and they only accounted for 18% of the tourism economy. The average day tripper spends between €5 and €20 in Venice, most of it on Made-In-China junk, which doesn’t impact the local economy – that money goes right back to China.
So Venice had 20,000+ people arriving each day, flushing toilets and creating trash that the municipality had to pay for. Something had to be done to offset these costs, hence the new day tripper tax.
2. How Does The Tax Work?
On certain dates this year – dates that are traditionally super busy tourist days, all visitors to Venice will have to get an Access Pass. When you apply online for your Access Pass you will either pay a €5 fee for coming for the day, or you will register an exemption as someone who is staying overnight in Venice. For now there are only a handful of dates where the Access Pass is required, but keep an eye on it because they are bound to add more.
In Italy you pay a tourist tax for every night spent in tourism accommodation – hotels, airbnbs, agriturismos, bed and breakfasts, etc. Depending on where you are in the country the price per person per night fluctuates. Some places have it built in to your nightly cost, others take the payment as cash on arrival. Venice is just offsetting some of the financial burden the city bears due to mass tourism.
** Every visitor to Venice on the dates below will have to have an Access Pass. It will either show you’ve paid the day tripper tax or that you are exempt because you are staying in a hotel/B&B/AirBnb etc.
3. How Can They Tell If You Paid?
Don’t be thinking you can game the system on this one! When you pay or register you will get a QR code to download to your smartphone. When/if the police/authorities stop you they will scan your QR code to see that everything is legit. There has been talk of having turnstiles or some other form of barrier to pass to gain access to the city. In my opinion as someone who spends an enormous amount of time in Venice every year, this will be an evolving process and you will for sure need to keep an eye on the situation.
During Covid Italy did a fantastic job checking vaccine passes. Everyone had a digital vaccine pass on their smartphone and every establishment had to scan each person’s QR code before they could enter. So the technology and hardware are all already in place, and the people assigned to do the scanning have had ample practice.
By the way, I am 100% in favor of this – mass tourism must be curbed in places like Venice where it has become completely out of control.
4. What Are The Dates?
So far for 2024 these are the dates the pass is required:
- APRIL – 25-30
- MAY – 1-5, 11-12, 18-19, 25-26
- JUNE – 8-9, 15-16, 22-23, 29-30
- JULY – 6-7, 13-14
** Additional dates in August and September will probably be added later in the year.
5. Should You Still Go To Venice?
Absolutely! Yes – 100%.
Venice is the most unique city on earth. (And one of the most endangered.) Hopefully this tax will cut back some of the day trippers and lower the mass tourism burden on the city. Venice doesn’t need more mass tourism – it needs more quality travelers. People who come to enjoy the culture, the history, the cuisine. Travelers who want to explore the city’s myriad fascinating museums, walk the winding calles and just fall in love with this magical, beautiful place.
If you are thinking about traveling to Venice check out my best seller Glam Italia! 101 Fabulous Things To Do In Venice. This is like your secret window into completely fabulous things to see and do – things the mass tourism folks don’t know about. It is designed to not only give you the most sensational vacation in Venice, but also to make you fall head over heels in love with her, the way I have.
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