Venice Visitor Taxes

Venice Visitor Taxes. This post describes both current and proposed taxes on both overnight and day-trip visitors to Venice.

The “overnight tax”, was first introduced in 2011, was created for overnight visitors and is paid in proportion to the number of nights spent in Venice and on the “level”/star rating of the accommodation and location. It is a charge that is paid by all guests staying overnight in Hotels, B&B’s and apartments in Venice; normally taken when settling your final account/bill with the establishment.

The “day-tripper tax” first proposed in February 2019, is intended for visitors who don’t spend any nights in Venice and varies depending on expected visitor numbers to the city on any particular day.

The primary aims of this proposed measure was meant to:

  • Better manage tourist flows in such a way as to preserve Venice and allow those who are there, to enjoy it in a more pleasant way.
  • Encourage or discourage tourism on a given day, by varying the entrance costs, under a “colour-coded” system.
  • To partly relieve the Venetians of the costs they pay, to maintain the city and its services (e.g., infrastructure, waste disposal, cultural attractions).

The main issues facing the introduction of this proposed tax, were those of transparency and accountability, logistics and the issue of generating enormous queues, without affecting tax collection. Unfortunately, the complexity of resulting information released since this levy has been announced in 2019; has appeared rather like a technological, strategic and bureaucratic nightmare, bringing considerable confusion all round.  Another issue is that the main tourist websites are very slow to update revised information. The “good news”, is that matters are slowly resolving, as the reality of imposing and collecting this tax without causing chaos; have set in!

As of July 2023, it has been reported, that the entry tax to Venice for day-tripper tourists; will not become effective until 2025. The tax payment system will be tested in 2024, at key traditionally busy points; but the precise dates of the 2024 test are not yet known (or announced). This future tax will, therefore, only really come into force in 2025, after analysis of this test data.

Those making arrangements through travel agencies, organisations and transport systems into Venice; will likely have any visitor taxes due for their clients incorporated in their charges (or by way of a separate charge). Those visitors making their own travel arrangements, are advised to keep checking the main tourist websites, for updated information (links below). It is quite possible that Venice may also become a restricted car parking area (or low emission zone); entry dependent on your vehicle conforming to set requirements and payment of charges.

  • The “overnight tax”.
  • The “day-tripper tax”.  Bureaucracy and Delays in Implementation –  Who Pays? – What is the Venice Access Tax for? – How do you pay? – Exceptions to paying the “day-trippers” tax 
  • Links (internal: external)

 

Crowds on the famous “Riva degli Schiavoni”, overlooking the San Marco Basin and where you can view the iconic “Bridge of Sighs”.


 

Tourist Taxes in Venice

(Note. I have deliberately left in some of the history of proposals made public, so that you can be bemused at the complexity of proposals made. Fortunately, they have been gradually simplified and refined, as reality of a bureaucratic and logistic nightmare, has set in! The latest proposals, I can find as of 7/23, are marked in block-quote below. (Please check the main tourist websites for updates – I suggest you enter “Venice visitor tax information” in your browser. At present many of the main Venice tourist websites, appear out of date with their information.)

Tourist tax collection in Venice, is divided into to two distinct areas, one of which you must pay:

1. The “overnight tax”

This was created for overnight visitors and is paid in proportion to the number of nights spent in Venice and on the “level”/star rating of the accommodation and location.

It was introduced in 2011 and is a charge that is paid by all guests staying overnight in Hotels, B&Bs and apartments in Venice; normally taken when settling your final account/bill with the establishment. This tax collection, works well.

This tax goes from 1€ to 5€ per person per night.

It is charged from the 1st day to the 5th day. No tax is paid from the 6th day onwards.

Total cost: price per night x no of nights x no people

Latest information as of 7/2023. Tourists who can prove that they have booked a hotel room, a bed and breakfast or an apartment in Venice (Municipal territory: Venice, Murano, Burano, Lido, Pellestrina, Favaro Veneto, Mestre-Carpenedo, Chirignago-Zelarino and Marghera) for more than one night will be exempt from payment. Their host will take care of it on you final bill and it is proposed to provide clients with an exemption QR code, that may well be subject to random inspection, during their visit.

 

2. The “day-tripper tax”

This tax was created for visitors who don’t spend the night in Venice and varies depending on the number of people that are expected to visit the city on any particular day.

This measure is meant not just to bring money to the city, but also to encourage or discourage tourism on a given day, by varying the entrance costs, under a “colour-coded” system.(Assessed by collecting/estimating visitor numbers over a previous year)

Below, gives you a summary of proposals published on various Venetian tourist websites before July 2023.

Bureaucracy and Delays in Implementation

This tax has been subject to many delays in its introduction, since it was announced in February 2019; due to the complexity of introducing and managing the proposed system and improving life for both residents and visitors by generating income.

Due to record-breaking flooding in 2019 and the covid-19 pandemic, the introduction of the tax was delayed.

However, in July 2022, it was announced that the tax would be introduced on the 16th of January 2023.

In December 2022, however, protests by the opposition in the city council, some business owners and residents; forced the local administration to further discuss the new tax and delay its introduction by at least 6 months.

The main issues facing the introduction are those of transparency and accountability, logistics and the issue of generating enormous queues without affecting tax collection.

The sheer complexity of information and local opposition to the proposals, have left both the main local tourist organisations that are reporting it and the public confused.  All this has seemed like a technological, strategic and bureaucratic nightmare – Italian style!

However, matters are slowly resolving as the reality of imposing and collecting this tax without causing chaos, have set in!

Who Pays?

The proposal is to tax all people over 6 years of age, coming to Venice on a day trip.

The cost of the access tax to Venice has a base cost of 6€/person.

Since this measure is meant not just to bring money to the city, but also to encourage or discourage tourism on a given day, the daily cost can vary.

It will be used to decrease some of the costs that Venetians have to bear. For example, the tourist tax will lower the high “Garbage Tax” that Venetians currently pay.

There are a total of 4 different scenarios and taxes; that are “colour coded”.

Green Light.  A fixed 3 euro/person tax when very few people are expected to visit the city.

Grey Light. A fixed 6 euro/person tax on a normal day.

Red Light.  A fixed 8 euro/person tax when an excessive number of people are expected to visit the city.

Black Light. A fixed 10 euro/person tax when an overwhelming number of people is expected to visit the city.

The authorities believe that the vast majority of the days will be grey. You will be able to visit for up to seven consecutive days, paying only for three days. In this case, you will pay for the three days with the highest tariff within that week.

What about Cruise-ship passengers.

The cruise-ship passengers will pay a flat euro-7 charge. This is to make it easier for them to handle the tickets. (A problem here is to understand why a cruise ship passenger would ever pay 7 euro if he could just walk in, get the ticket from the machine, and pay 6 or even 3 euro. But that is one of the issues that probably will be solved further on.)

Passengers on Cruise ships docking at the temporary ports in Fusina and other locations, presumably will be charged the flat 7 euro tax, or the 3 to 10 euro tax.

 

Exceptions to paying the “day-trippers” tax.

Tourists coming to Venice must pay a tax, either the overnight tax or the day-tripper tax.

The city of Venice is an island and it can be accessed only from a few places. Local police will be at those locations and check that visitors have paid either of the taxes.

Failing to pay the day-tripper tax for people who have are not staying overnight in Venice, will lead to a fine of 50 to 300 euros.

To complicate matters, it seems that the city council is in favour of limiting the access fee to Venice and not requiring any payment for visits to the islands, Lido, Murano, Torcello, etc.  However, to get out there, you normally would need to pass through Venice and thus still pay the tax!

It might be interesting for those visitors who come to Venice often as day-trippers; to purchase buying a Venezia Unica Travel Card. This card is a personal card that costs 100€ and is valid for 5 years. It exempts owners from paying the access tax and allows them to buy tickets for public water transportation at 1,5€ per fare instead of expensive 9.50€ per fare.

There are a great number of people exempted. There are mixed claims as to the effectiveness of this tax. Some claim overwhelming positive feedback to the idea of taxing day-trippers and bringing extra money to the city to help with resident’s cost of living; to those who claim this tax will not reduce visitor numbers effectively. Others thing Venice should be free of visiting charges. Feedback from residents of the historic city, have suggested that any tourist tax in Venice; should be used for services for both locals and tourists, public toilets, cleaning and social housing.

  • Residents in Venice.
  • Residents in Veneto.
  • Tenants in Venice or the island in the lagoon with a non-tourist contract, with family.
  • Spouses, partners, and relatives up to the 3rd degree to anyone living in Venice or on any of the islands in the lagoon.
  • Anyone with a valid “Venezia Unica” travel pass. (Link below)
  • Employees in Venice, or self-employed. Also, anyone who’s there for a meeting or a temporary appointment, etc.
  • Anyone who has a house in Venice and pays the tax, IMU, for that property, with family.
  • Students and pupils of any educational facility in Venice or on any of the islands in the lagoon.
  • Anyone who’s in for voluntary work, for health treatment, other official business, etc, etc. Also, those who accompany and/or assist people who’re in Venice for medical treatment.
  • Anyone who participates in sports competitions recognized by the CONI, its Federations or by authorized Sports Associations, for example Venice Marathon and football events.
  • Children under 6 years of age.
  • People with severe disability and assistants.
  • Those born within the city of Venice. If you live in Sydney or Cairo doesn’t matter. If you were born here, you’re excluded.
  • And a whole lot of other cases…


 

What is the Venice Access Tax for?

  • The primary purpose of the tax is to better manage tourist flows in such a way as to preserve Venice and also allow those who are there to enjoy it in a more pleasant way.
  • This tax is also made to relieve the Venetians of the costs they pay today alone to maintain the city and its services:

The household waste service (which costs 41 million euros per year).

Maintenance and repair of the pavers (masegni), that cover the streets of Venice.

The maintenance and repair of bridges.

The maintenance of docks and banks.

Maintaining the city’s heritage, monuments of art and other elements you appreciate during your stay.

 

How do you pay?

The latest proposals on the “Visit-Venice-Italy” website (as of 7/2023), for operation that have been under consideration and development.

The Major has spoken of the necessity to book in advance to be able to get in. But he’s also declared that no one will be left outside.

Any official transport service that brings in people to Venice, trains, taxis, ships, and companies that cover most or almost all of the buses to Venice within the larger metropolitan area (e.g. ACTV,  ATVO, Arriva, or Busitalia); should provide the tickets. This includes even anyone who offers arriving at the airport at Lido (which would be improbable as it’s closed for passenger traffic). This would be either as a separate ticket, or as a surcharge to their existing travel fee.

Other than that, the Venice tourist tax ticket will probably be available through normal channels, ticket offices, newsstands, as well as online and via the official App. You will also have the possibility to buy the ticket at automated ticket machines. The companies selling the ticket have to make sure the tax is paid, asking for documentation of the reason for exclusion. It is not meant to be complicated for the visitor, but a very simple surcharge!

The Entrance Tax in Venice, will be 5 euros. This tourist and entry tax to Venice, will be payable on a dedicated but yet to exist website, or through an application for smartphones; which will issue a QR code to be presented in the event of an inspection.Therefore, there will be no counters, barriers or other turnstiles to control the tax. The checks will be carried out randomly in Venice by municipal agents.

In the future, there could be a smart chip, allowing the possibility of remote read-off, to check all incoming visitor traffic. 

Limited Traffic Area.  The mayor has also been considering making Venice a ZTL, limited traffic area, much like the “C-zone” in Milan. Presumably no one could access the city in a private car, so avoiding the tax levied on official transportation. It could work as follows: every workday from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. traffic is limited. If you have a considered clean-emission vehicle, you can get in if you pay the tax. If you have an old high-emission car, you would not have access even with a ticket. Police, Ambulances and a whole lot of others would be excluded.

 

Exceptions to paying the “day-trippers” tax.

Residents of the city of Venice and their parents up to the 3rd degree of kinship, students enrolled at school or university in Venice, owners of a home in Venice, whether Italian or foreign and anyone travelling to Venice for professional reasons are also automatically exempted.

Children under the age of 6 are also exempt from paying the tax.

Touristic bus passengers who pay the ZTL bus tax will also be exempt from the tax.

 

Please keep checking the main tourist websites for updated information. 


LINKS (internal: external)

Visit-Venice-Italy.com

Venezia Unica and Travel Pass

Link to all my blog posts


 

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