The popular Italian city of Venice has approved guidelines Tuesday for charging daily visitors a $5.50 entrance fee next year.
The fee will initially be tested for 30 days in 2024 on spring and summer weekends, according to The Associated Press.
“The aim is to disincentivize daily tourism in certain periods, in line with the fragility and uniqueness of the city,” the news agency quoted Venice as saying in a statement.
Any day-trippers over the age of 14 will be asked to pay the 5-Euro cost, although it’s not exactly clear how the city plans to make visitors do so.
Those exempt from the new fee include people who commute to work in Venice or its neighboring islands and people who live in the Veneto region, the AP reports. Overnight visitors who already pay a lodging tax will be exempt as well.
The plan was approved by Venice’s city council and will seek final approval on Sept. 12.
Its aim is to strike “a new balance between the rights of those who live, study or work in Venice and those who visit the city,” Venice tourism councilor Simone Venturini told Reuters.
In 2019, prior to the start of the coronavirus pandemic, around 19 million people made day trips to Venice but contributed only a fraction of the revenue of those who stayed in the area at least one night, the AP also reports.
The fee plan was first brought up in 2019 but its implementation has been delayed because of COVID, according to Reuters.
In July, experts with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) recommended that Venice and its lagoon be added to its list of World Heritage in Danger, arguing that the Italian government isn’t doing enough to protect the region from climate change and the effects of tourism, according to Reuters.
Around 50,000 people are estimated to live in Venice’s city center compared to the throngs of tourists that flock there each year.