The entrance fee is a flop: everything must be redone


Venice: the City will charge the fee on its own, without recourse to tourist transport, but the possibility of evasion will be very high

By Enrico Tantucci

25 July 2019

VENICE: The entrance fee is at risk of failure and serious evasion. They are starting over again with a new regulation for the access charge for daily tourists, which, after repeated delays is supposed to be implemented at the beginning of next year, according to the announcement by the Administration.

However, while for now finance minister Michele Zuin formally confirms this date, the real risk is that instead everything gets complicated, given that other means of tourist transportation – such as trains, cars, and boats – will no longer be collecting the fee to send to the City. Ca’ Farsetti will do it directly.

This was explained by Zuin yesterday in the Council Commission, where there was discussion of the inquiry presented by City Councilor Emanuele Rosteghin (PD) about the delay in implementing the fee. A fine mess, given that it was somehow the City itself to push for this because – based on the entrance fee already in force on small islands like Capri – it was to be the owners of the tourist transportation businesses themselves who would collect the fee.

It is for this reason that a legal opinion has already been requested from the Minister of the Economy – it was explained yesterday in Commission – to know if it is possible for the City to collect the fee without going through the transportation companies, as is called for in the legislative provision approved in Parliament to authorize the entrance fee.

But the complexity of the situation – a city like Venice is not a small island with only one naval entry point – and the appeals to the Tar that have already been presented by some operators, have caused major backtracking.

“The City will directly collect the entrance fee for Venice”, explained Zuin, “and so the regulation for the fee will be rewritten”.

They will be starting all over again, therefore. But how will the City directly collect the fee? With a requirement for those arriving in Venice to first pay online via the Comune Venezia Unica web portal. However, there will also need to be some kind of kiosks at Piazzale Roma for those who have entered the city by taxi to pay directly. The problem, however, will be controls.

“Seeing that the fee is connected to transportation”, commented PD Councilor Emanuele Rosteghin, “if a tourist who has not paid the entrance fee online sets foot in Venice anyway it will not be possible to fine him, because he can always maintain, for example, that he had arrived on foot, and it would be up to the City to prove otherwise.

The other possibility would be to institute checks at the arrival points of the buses, trains and ferries that bring tourists to Venice – but the City would have to organize this, and in any case these could at best be only random. Thus the risk of evasion of the entrance fee, when it goes into force, will be very high.

Seeing that the situation means starting over again, and seeing that the wrong path was taken, we have asked the City to also revisit the whole regime of exemptions. But to think that the entrance fee will be implemented at the beginning of next year is, in our opinion, pure fantasy.” So for now the provision that all Italy talked about to control tourism in Venice is at serious risk of failure.

Source: La Nuova Venezia


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