Update October 2019
A little more detailed info about the Venice tourist tax is slipping out from the city hall. After the meeting on the 24th of October, new guidelines, as well as a new timeline, were presented. The whole system is now supposed to start on July 1, 2020. From January 1, 2021, the definite tariffs will be in force.
It seems that the city has encountered resistance from a few categories in the transport sector. I’ve been speaking to some of the taxi drivers, for example, and they say that they won’t act as policemen, controlling if their costumers have or have not paid a tax that they don’t agree to anyway.
The city is now turning back towards a more traditional agenda… You should be able to do it all online. There will probably be automats placed out in strategic points, for those who haven’t booked and paid in advance. Anyway, the idea is a normal ticket with normal controls. And it isn’t clear how the controls are going to be carried out, but it seems that normal law enforcement will be involved. Very traditional in other words.
The fee will be exactly as described bellow from 2021. In the second half of 2020 the fee will be 3 euro for normal days, 6 euro for days with more tourists, and 8 euro for the assault-days.
The cruise-ship passengers will pay a flat 5 euro for 2020 and a flat 7 euro from 2021. That’s if the cruise-ship company chooses to sign the agreement with the city. That’s to make it easier for them to handle the tickets. (I just don’t 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 during spring.)
To complicate all of this, sometime in early summer there will be the elections for a new major in Venice. As always in Italy, it’s not easy to predict what’s going to happen. In the 2015 elections, there were around 20 electoral lists, who then grouped together in 5 groups, each one supporting one candidate. It’s easy to understand that the outcome is everything but certain, and if Luigi Brugnaro is kicked out we don’t know what will happen to the access fee.
I wish I could be more precise, but this new info creates more questions than answers. We’ll just have to wait and see. Be patient…
Update July 2019
The introduction of the Venice Tourist tax has been postponed again. This time it’s supposed to start not until the 1st of January 2020, instead of September 1. Obvious technical and practical problems are the reasons.
So they’ve put it on hold again. It’s a complicated project and the transporting companies, trains, buses, taxis have raised all kinds of questions. The Venice tourist tax should have been a flat 3 euro from September the 1st 2019, and from January 1, 2020, it should have developed into four levels, from green to black, 3, 6,8 or 10 euro depending on the calculated flow of tourists into the old town.
At this point, we do not know if the higher fee will be implemented directly from January 1, or if there will still be a 3 euro-period. In October there will be additional information. The representatives of the city have declared that there could be a total revision of everything about the Venice tourist tax. We will know more then.
It’s easy to see that it is a very complicated thing to set up. Many of the collaborators are not enthusiastic about it, to say the least. I would expect some changes and possibly they will postpone it once more. But let’s wait until October.
Who has to pay?
Anyone who’s coming into Venice or the Islands in the lagoon and doesn’t stay in a hotel, B&B or any other official accommodation inside the city, Venice or Mestre, and thus already is paying the local city tax of 2 – 5 euro. To be absolutely clear: If you pay the tourism tax, Tassa di soggiorno, at the hotel you don’t have to pay the new access fee.
- 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 document
- 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, e.g. Venice Marathon.
- Children under 6 years of age.
- People with severe disability and assistant.
- Those born within the city of Venice. If you live in Sydney or Kairo doesn’t matter. If you were born here you’re excluded.
- And a whole lot of other cases…
How do you pay?
Any official transport service who brings in people to Venice, trains, buses, taxis, ships and even anyone who lands on the airport at Lido (… which would be improbable) will provide the tickets. Either as a separate ticket or as an addition to the existing one. The companies selling the ticket have to make sure the tax is paid, asking documentation of the reason for exclusion. It will be them the authorities will put pressure on.
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. From 2022 there could be a smart chip and the possibility to read it off from a distance. Probably checking all the traffic coming in without putting up the infamous gates at the entrance.
He’s also been talking about making Venice a ZTL, limited traffic area, much like the C-zone in Milan. That way nobody could access the city in a private car, and thus sneaking in without paying the tax through the official transportation.
He talks a lot our Major.
About fines. For the single tourist, there will be fines from 100 to 450 if you don’t pay. But it seems that this could only be carried out if you declare falsely… Since it’s the transport company who’s responsible and they should enforce the payment or at least inform about it. But we still don’t know exactly how this is going to be done.
For them, the bus-, train-, and taxi companies, on the other hand, the fines will be a little heavier.
For those staying in a hotel outside of the city of Venice, which includes Mestre and Marghera, the fee will be partial… If you’re not staying at a typical tourist location (… read Jesolo). In that case, you’ll pay full price.