By summer, the Italian lagoon city of Venice plans to require tourists to book their trip to the old city in advance. From 2023, visitors will then buy a ticket to visit the historic center, said Venice's tourism commissioner, Simone Venturini.
In the coming weeks, the city plans to announce the date from which free online reservations will be required. In this way, the municipality wants to be able to plan better in advance how many people will be in the city.
The experimental phase will start in July 2022. The booking obligation is than expected to become fully operational (and for a fee) in January 2023. The registration is designed for one-day visitors not staying overnight and will grant incentives such as discounts on some services (for example public transport) or priority access to museums. However, there will be no limit to the number of registered visitors.
According to media reports, hundreds of thousands of visitors were in Venice around Easter. Long lines formed at popular sights such as St. Mark's Basilica. "Tourism in Venice is taking off again," Mayor Luigi Brugnaro wrote on Twitter on Easter Monday. The city welcomed almost half a million people within three days. "Today many have understood that booking obligation for tourists is the right way for a balanced tourism management," he further explained.
The 2023 ticket is especially important for day-trippers to the UNESCO World Heritage site. Those who book a hotel in Venice should not have to worry about it, according to Venturini. Locals wouldn't need the ticket either. Many of them have been annoyed by mass tourism in the "Serenissima" for years. During the Corona pandemic, the number of visitors dropped significantly, but the demand was to better control the flow of tourists in the future.