Being one of the most romanticised cities on earth, Venice and tourism share a long history together. Many of us want to see the Italian city at least once in our lives but not all have the time or money it takes to really reside within the city for very long, resulting in many tourists just stopping over for a day before hopping back on a bus or plane to continue their travels.
Over the years, this has resulted in a mass tourism problem, driving some locals away, while others are left feeling frustrated. Venice only just escaped being listed on UNESCO’s danger list because of the damages caused by overtourism. Over the past year, Venice has therefore taken multiple measures against mass tourism and the city will be adding even more in 2024.
Previously, Venice already announced it will be testing a day-tripper fee in 2024. During 29 peak days spread from April to July, those who are not staying the night will have to pay a 5 euro fee to be able to visit the city. “Our attempt is to make a more liveable city”, Venice Mayor Luigi Brugnaro told AP. By encouraging tourists to stay longer, Venice wants to discourage people from simply crowding its streets for the time of a day, without really contributing to its economy nor its liveability. To the same effect, Venice also limited the access of large cruise ships through the Giudecca Canal.
Now, the city council plans on taking things even further. If all goes as planned, starting from June, tourist groups will be limited to a maximum of 25 people, which is approximately half a tour bus. Loudspeakers, which are often used to guide big groups around the city and “which can generate confusion and disturbances”, will also be banned from Venetian streets and canals. According to the city official charged with security, Elisabetta Pesce, the new measures are aimed at improving the management of groups organised in the historic centre and should improve the quality of life for those living and working in Venice.
However, the measures aren’t completely certain just yet. The city council still needs to examine and accept them. If so, they will go into effect on the first of June.