Venice launches experiment to charge day-trippers an access fee in bid to combat over-tourism

(25 Apr 2024)
RESTRICTION SUMMARY:

ASSOCIATED PRESS
Venice – 25 April 2024
1. Various of Venice municipality officers checking either for payment of access fee or exception for those who have a hotel in Venice or live in Venice
2. Close of website to pay access fee on phone, reading (English) "Pay the Venice Access Fee"
3. Access fee officer
4. SOUNDBITE (Italian) Arianna Cecilia, day-tripper from Rome:
“We paid the five euro (USD$5.35) ticket per person, because we read on the internet that the fee was being enforced starting from today, for several days during the year. It was very easy.”
5. Various of municipal officers checking access fee payment
6. Close of flyer explaining access fee in various languages
7. Various of access fee signs in front of Venice main station
8. SOUNDBITE (English) Abbey Falconei, tourist from New Zealand staying in hotel in Venice:
“It was pretty smooth, the host from our accommodation just sent us the QR code. So I just had to fill out a form. It took a few minutes, but it was ok.”
9. Various of tourists and commuters printing QR code
10. SOUNDBITE (French) Joseph Marchese, tourist from Lyon who is staying in hotel in Venice:
“I had some little complications, so I dropped it and said, ‘we’ll see tomorrow morning,’ since we were here. But as I’m in a hotel and on principle, I’m not supposed to pay for it.”
11. Various of day-trippers showing QR code ticket certifying payment of access fee
12. Various of anti-fee protester showing mock-passport of Venetian residents and saying UPSOUND (Italian): “No to the fee”
13. SOUNDBITE (Italian), Marina Rodinò, local resident and activist against overtourism and the access fee:
“This is not a natural park, it is not a museum, it is not Pompeii, this is a city where we have to fight to have the houses lived in by families and we have to reopen local shops. This would also limit this wild tourism.”
14. Various of officers
15. SOUNDBITE (Italian) Michele Zuin, Venice municipal councillor for economy:
“(On whether the measure will limit over-tourism:) "We are trying to do something at least. Those protesters are just chatting, saying it is too little, and they complain that the city is overcrowded by tourists.”
16. Local police
17. SOUNDBITE (Italian) Michele Zuin, Venice municipal councillor for economy:
“If you pay, we think that, not this year when we are still testing, but when the ticket increases from 1 to 10 euros. If a family with two adult children has to pay up to 40 euros, they will probably decide to come on a different day, when there is no access fee.”
18. Various of Venice station and canals

ASSOCIATED PRESS
Venice – 24 April 2024
19. Various of Saint Mark Square and Rialto bridge
STORYLINE:
Under the gaze of the world’s media, the fragile lagoon city of Venice launches a pilot program Thursday to charge day-trippers a 5-euro (around $5.35) entry fee that authorities hope will discourage visitors from arriving on peak days and make the city more liveable for its dwindling residents.

Signs advising arriving visitors of the new requirement for a test phase of 29 days through July have been erected outside the main train station and other points of arrival.

Some 200 stewards have been trained to politely walk anyone unaware of the fee through the process of downloading a QR code. A kiosk has been set up for those not equipped with a smartphone.

Once past designated entry ports, officials will carry out random checks for QR codes that show the day-tripper tax has been paid or that the bearer is exempt.

AP Video shot by Paolo Santalucia

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Author: admin