Venice Tourists to Pay Tax to Save City

Minimal tax on overnight visitors could raise millions
By Sarah Whitmire,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 30, 2011 9:03 AM CDT

(Newser) – Vacationing in Venice is about to get a wee bit pricier. In a bid to save the slowly sinking city, Venice will next month start levying a tourist tax. Those lucky enough to stay in a five-star hotel will see a nightly per-person charge of nearly $6.50 added to their bills, the Telegraph reports. Those slumbering in not-so-posh accommodations will pay a lesser amount. The city of about 60,000 sees an influx of the same number of tourists each day, and hopes the move will bring in millions of dollars that would be dedicated to anti-sinking maintenance.

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"The fundamental objective is to secure from tourists who visit and love Venice a contribution to sustain a city that is unique, extremely precious but also extremely fragile," the deputy mayor said. The tax will vary with changing seasons, but in Venice, virtually every season is tourist season—its high season spans 257 days of the year. That has critics worried that many visitors will pass on spending the night in order to skip out on the fee. (Read more Venice stories.)

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