In world first, Venice to trial day tickets


Venice to trial day tickets


Rome, Venice will this week begin charging day trippers for entry, a world first aimed at easing pressure on the Italian city drowning under the weight of mass tourism.
                  On Thursday — a public holiday in Italy — day visitors will for the first time have to buy a five-euro ($5.3) ticket, monitored by inspectors carrying out spot checks at key points in the UNESCO world heritage site.
                  Venice is one of the world’s top tourist destinations, with 3.2 million visitors staying overnight in the historic centre in 2022 — dwarfing the resident population of just 50,000.
                  Tens of thousands more pour into the city’s narrow streets for the day, often from cruise ships, to see sights including St Mark’s Square and the Rialto Bridge.
                  The aim of the tickets is to persuade day trippers to come during quieter periods, to try to thin out the worst of the crowds.
                  Initially, tickets will only be required on 29 busy days throughout 2024, mostly weekends from May to July.
                  But the scheme is being closely watched as tourist destinations worldwide grapple with surging numbers of visitors, who boost the local economy but risk overwhelming communities and damaging fragile ecosystems and historical sites.
                  In Spain, the world’s second-most visited country after France, tens of thousands of people protested in the Canary Islands on Saturday to demand limits on visitor numbers to the archipelago.
                  Luigi Brugnaro, the mayor of Venice, has described the city’s scheme as “an experiment, and the first time it’s been done anywhere in the world”.
                  “Our aim is to make Venice more liveable,” he told reporters earlier this month.­