If a trip to Italy is on your calendar this year, you’ll need to take out a few more euros from the ATM if you’re planning a day trip to Venice. On Tuesday, February 26, the city council voted to approve a new tax on day-trippers to help pay for essential services like trash collection and cleaning public areas—which are necessary to support the influx of tourists.
The daily tax will be €3 (US$3.40) from now until the end of 2019, and could go up to €10 (about US$11) on high-traffic days. The tax is expected to double next year. Everyone except children under six, people who were born in Venice, as well as anyone who lives, works, studies, or is visiting relatives in the city will be charged.
While Venice has done everything from monitoring the number of visitors at sites in the main tourist zones to implementing a locals-first boarding policy on its water buses to help overcrowding in the city, this new tax is unlikely to deter travelers from visiting. However, it will hopefully raise a significant amount of money for its infrastructure.
It is not uncommon for destinations to charge a visitors tax, but typically countries (instead of individual cities) are the ones to implement one. Most recently, Japan instated a ¥1,000 (US$9) “sayonara tax” in January 2019, while New Zealand will begin to charge NZ$35 (US$24) in mid-2019 to international visitors to fund infrastructure for its growing tourism industries.
The Venice tax can be paid either at transport or tourism agencies, but since the city won’t be able to collect the tax at an official border crossing it will be harder to enforce. But don’t try to skirt the new fee—the city says scofflaws could face fines of up to €450 (US$512) if they’re caught.
The Associated Press contributed reporting to this article.