Venice Institutes New Tourist Tax

Thu, 08/25/2011 - 00:59

Overnight visitors in Venice are waking up this morning to see as much as 10 Euros extra added to their hotel bills as the city becomes the most recent Italian destination to institute a tourist tax.

The tax coffers of Venice are expected to be filled with an additional 8 million in revenue this year, collecting as much as 23 million Euros within 2 years as each overnight tourist contributes a little to the pot.

The amount of tax paid depends on the choice of accommodations. Luxury visitors staying at a five-star hotel will pay €5, while campers on the mainland will only shell out a few extra cents per night.

To soften the blow of unexpected fees, the city of Venice has published a colorful brochure in nine languages, congratulating tourists on becoming "one of the city's sponsors, contributing to safeguarding it".

The revenue generated from the new tax "will help the city improve the quality of the tourist services" and also go towards "salvaging the city's cultural and architectural heritage".

Extra funds truly are required as Venice has reached its tourism breaking point, with parts of the famed Rialto Bridge crumbling into the canal below.

Tourists in Rome were the first to begin paying a ‘Contributo di Soggiorno’ tax. This type of fee has become popular with finance ministers because it charges visitors instead of voters, but critics claim that the extra tax will have a negative long term impact on tourism.