After long-had discussions around an entry fee to ease overcrowding caused by tourists, Venice has revealed details of a digital platform that will manage the €5 “Venice Access Fee” that goes into effect April 25.
A QR-based digital platform launched Thursday to support the transaction between tourists and the Italian city. The platform will provide “streamlined access,” per the Italian National Tourist Board, which said a QR code is issued upon payment to create an efficient system for exploring travelers.
Venetian authorities will enforce the fee for tourists who are visiting sites in the ancient city center during 29 designated dates between April 25th and mid-July and between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m.
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The rule is meant to support more sustainable travel practices, by discouraging visiting during peak periods, to help preserve residents’ day-to-day lives without restricting visitors from experiencing the city. And the implementation comes at a time when sustainability is already a hot topic – and more young travelers have been placing importance on the topic while planning.
The fee isn’t meant to be a tourist tax, the Associated Press reported in November. Instead, it’s meant to be an experiment to monitor tourist flows on typically heavy-traffic days. The idea came on the heels of Venice’s near miss of landing on the UNESCO World Heritage’s danger list given the overtourism it has experienced.
“Our attempt is to make a more livable city,” said Venice Mayor Luigi Brugnaro in November, according to the AP.
Day trippers can register on the Venice Access Fee portal to pay the fee, then the portal will provide a downloadable QR code to show proof of payment. For a period, travelers will also be allowed to pay in the moment when stopped by authorities if they don’t have a code. QR codes issued will be date-specific and valid for one day only.
Overnight visitors will be exempt from paying the fee, along with visiting volunteers, students, athletes visiting for sporting events and children under 14. All exempt visitors will still be required to register within the portal.