The Tourist Tax in Venice
First of all, there is no reason to be frightened by the Venice tourist tax. In fact, even if you had no exemption and have to pay it, it is relatively small.
Who is exempted? How much is it? How do you pay it?
We answer these and many more questions about the Venice tourist tax below.
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Venice Tourist Tax
Let’s clarify for you what kind of taxes there are in Venice, who must pay them, and how much they will cost you.
What is the tourist tax in Venice?
There are two types of so-called tourist taxes in Venice:
- One tax is called “tassa di soggiorno” or overnight tax.
- The other is called “contributo di accesso”, or contribution for the access. In other words, it is a day-trippers tax.
Tourists coming to Venice have to pay either one or the other tax.
What is the overnight tax in Venice?
The “overnight tax”, introduced in 2011, is a charge that is paid by all guests staying overnight in Hotels or B&Bs in Venice.
This tax goes from 1€ to 5€ per person per night and must be paid directly at your Hotel or B&B.
It is charged from the first day and up to 5 days. No tax must be paid from the 6th day onwards.
What is the new tourist tax in Venice?
The new tax had been announced first in February 2019. The city of Venice planned for the tax to be added automatically to the price of the ticket of all means of transportation reaching Venice.
Due to record-breaking floodings in 2019 and the covid-19 pandemic, the tax has not been introduced yet.
However, in July 2022, the chief of tourism of the city of Venice, Simone Venturini, 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 a some residents forced the local administration to discuss further the new tax and delay its introduction by at least 6 months.
How much is the tourist tax in Venice?
The cost is different for the two taxes in Venice mentioned above, the overnight tax and the day-tripper tax.
The cost of the overnight tax in Venice
The cost of the overnight tax in Venice is dependent on the stars of the Hotel, the length of the stay, and the number of people.
It is not difficult to calculate the total cost of the overnight tax one must pay. To do so, one must multiply the night tax (which depends on the location), the number of nights, and the number of people staying overnight:
Total cost: price per night * n. nights * n. people
The cost of the day-tripper tax in Venice
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:
A lower tax when few tourists are expected to visit the city.
A higher tax when many tourists are expected to visit the city
There are a total of 4 different scenarios and taxes:
- A fixed 3 euro/person tax when very few people are expected to visit the city – Green Light
- A fixed 6 euro/person tax on a normal day – Yellow Light
- A fixed 8 euro/person tax when an excessive number of people are expected to visit the city – Red Light
- A fixed 10 euro/person tax when an overwhelming number of people is expected to visit the city – Black Light
Will people be charged two tourist taxes in Venice?
No, people will only pay one tax or the other.
Indeed, the two different tourist taxes in Venice are created for two different kinds of visitors:
The overnight tax was created for overnight visitors and is paid in proportion to the number of nights spent in Venice and on the “level”/stars of the accommodation.
The day-tripper 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 that day.
Who must pay the tourist tax in Venice?
Again, it depends on whether or not you stay overnight.
All people that stay overnight in Venice must pay the overnight tax for up to 5 nights.
All people over 6 years of age coming to Venice on a day trip must pay the day-tripper tax.
When will day trippers be charged the tourist tax in Venice?
The day-tripper tax in Venice was expected to be launched on the 16th of January 2023.
Local opposition in the city council, some business owners, and some citizens has delayed its introduction by 6 months at least.
How does this new tax in Venice work?
Visitors planning a day trip to Venice must book their visit in advance through a booking platform that the city is currently setting up.
The cost per person will range from 3 to 10 euros depending on how busy the city is expected to be on the day of the visit: the busier the city, the higher the tax.
Why is there a tourist tax in Venice?
The first Venice tourist tax was created in the early 2000s. It was created to generate some revenue for the city through the tourists staying overnight in Venice and in the Comune di Venezia.
Since tourists did bring revenue to certain businesses and hotels, but also added costs to all residents, the City decided to charge a small fee to overnight tourists to collect money that would then be used for covering certain costs.
Consider that, for example, the city of Venice is cleaned entirely by hand. In the morning you can see garbage collectors roaming the city to sweep the streets with their brooms and collect garbage door to door. Tourism increases enormously the amount of litter around the city and, if no tax would be paid, the cost of cleaning would fall entirely upon the local community.
Why did Venice create a day-tripper tax?
While there are 4 million visitors who come to Venice and stay overnight, there are 5 times more day-trippers!
Unfortunately, these 20 million day-trippers increase the costs of maintenance of the city but do not contribute to the increased expenses. This meant that Venetians, which are less than 50.000, had to bear the increased costs caused by 20 million non-contributing day trippers.
What will the tourist tax money used for in Venice?
The local government has stated that the money coming from the day-trippers tourist tax will be used to decrease some of the costs that Venetians have to bear.
For example, the tourist tax will lower the Garbage Tax that Venetians must currently pay which is quite high.
I don't want to pay the tourist tax in Venice, what can I do?
Tourists coming to Venice must pay a tax, either the overnight tax or the day-tripper tax.
However, there is one way around the day-tripper tax that might be interesting for those visitors who come to Venice often as day-trippers: buying a Venezia Unica card.
The Venezia Unica 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 9.50€ per fare.
In any case, these taxes should not be perceived necessarily as something bad: the money is used to help preserve that very same place that you came to visit and appreciate!
What happens if I don't pay the tourist tax in Venice?
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.
Are there exemptions to the tourist tax in Venice?
Yes, there is a great number of people who do not need to pay the day-tripper tax:
- People residing in the Veneto Region
- Whoever is staying in a hotel in Venice and is already paying the overnight tax
- Children under 6 years of age
- Owners of the Venezia Unica city pass
- People with disabilities
- People who have an appointment at the Venice hospital
- Football supporters coming to Venice to support their team playing against Venice.
- People who are attending a funeral in Venice
- Law enforcement
- The close family of whoever is renting an apartment in Venice
- The extended family of whoever resides in Venice
I have a Venezia unica card do I have to pay the tourist tax in Venice?
The Venezia Unica card only exempts you from paying the day-tripper tax in Venice.
The overnight tax in Venice is charged even to tourists who own a Venezia Unica card.
Do I have to pay the day-tripper tax if I'm staying in a hotel in Venice?
If you stay in a Hotel in Venice or the Comune di Venezia, or if you stay in a B&B in this same area, you must not pay the day-tripper tax to Venice.
What do locals think about the day-tripper tax in Venice?
Some say “Finally!”.
A few say “that’s wrong, Venice should be free!”.
Some others mention that the entity of the tax (a relatively small amount of money that most people will be able and ready to spend) won’t affect reduce mass tourism but only bring money to the city:
the city might be able to provide better services thanks to the money, but the problem of day-trippers coming in masses is not being tackled.
What do visitors think about the tourist tax in Venice?
As Venezia Autentica we managed to grow a big and engaged community of Venice lovers who share their opinion with us daily on our social media channels.
We have received overwhelmingly positive feedback regarding the creation of a tax for day-trippers.
Most of our followers stay overnight and have informed us that they feel good about paying the overnight tax, as they believe it is right to share the added costs of maintenance of Venice that tourism brings.
What do we think about the tourist tax in Venice?
Some of the best places we ever visited had a (much higher) tax, and we don’t regret one second having paid for them.
Actually, we felt good about it and would do it over and over again… as long as we can see that our contribution is well spent.
What would we want the tourist tax in Venice to be used for:
- Services for locals and for tourists.
- Public toilets.
- Social housing
Of course, we have concerns about the day-tripper tax, too.
Mainly, two concerns.
Firstly, we believe there is a need for transparency and accountability: in Italy, things often end up not being the way they could and should have been.
Indeed, we don’t know yet how the solution and the many exemptions will be implemented for all the people who either live in Venice, work in Venice, have relatives in Venice or stay overnight and should therefore only pay the overnight tax.
Moreover, tight controls on busy days would generate enormous queues, forcing people to wait in line for hours. On the other hand loose controls at the entrances to Venice would soon pass the message that one can not pay the tax and get away with it.
We believe it will be crucial for the city to figure out the best way to manage this complex matter as it will be what either makes or breaks the charging system.
It is crucial to get the logistics right as the revenue that it could generate could be crucial to improving life in Venice, both for the locals and for the visitors.
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