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Venice Follows Amsterdam In Bid To Curb Overtourism, Implements Day-Tripper Entry Fee

Venice has introduced a pilot program imposing an entry fee for day-trippers to combat overtourism. The initiative aims to create a sustainable balance between tourism and local communities.

Representative image Photo: Pinterest

In a bid to address the ongoing challenges of overtourism, the iconic city of Venice launched a pioneering pilot program on Thursday, imposing a 5-euro ($5.35) entry fee for day-trippers.

This move, hailed by authorities as a crucial step towards fostering a more sustainable balance between tourism and the local community, marks a significant development under the global spotlight. Recently, Amsterdam has also taken measures to tackle overtourism.

As part of the initiative, large signs at Venice’s main train station greeted visitors, delineating 29 designated dates until July for the program's trial phase. These signs also directed tourists to separate entrances, distinct from those designated for residents, students, and workers.

Simone Venturini, the city’s leading tourism official, emphasized the necessity of recalibrating the relationship between tourists and residents. He stressed, “We need to safeguard the spaces of the residents, of course, and we need to discourage the arrival of day-trippers on some particular days.”

However, the efficacy of this new system has sparked debate among residents, who contend that addressing mass tourism necessitates more fundamental solutions, such as revitalizing the resident population.

Despite objections, the launch proceeded, albeit not without protest. Hundreds of Venetians took to the streets, brandishing banners and voicing concerns under the rallying cry of “No to Tickets, Yes to Services and Housing.” Amid scuffles with police, demonstrators ultimately conveyed their message peacefully.

For tourists, the introduction of an entry fee signaled a departure from the norm, prompting some initial confusion and adjustment. The implementation process involved downloading QR codes to facilitate payment, with stewards and journalists alike on hand to guide visitors through the procedure.

The new requirement, applicable only during specified hours between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m., aims to provide a more accurate assessment of tourist footfall, aiding city officials in managing the phenomenon of overtourism more effectively.

While the entry fee represents a tangible step forward, skepticism remains regarding its long-term impact. Critics argue that the ultimate solution lies in bolstering the resident population and ensuring the availability of essential services, rather than imposing financial barriers on visitors.