- Tourists to Venice can soon expect to pre-book their visit to the city on a mobile app.
- The initiative aims to prevent overcrowding and will also require tourists to pay a visiting fee.
- Measures are expected to come into effect from summer 2022 and aim to address overtourism.
Tourists heading to Venice, Italy will soon have to book their visit in advance using a mobile app and may be turned away if there are too many bookings, according to Sky News.
The publication reports that while it has not yet been confirmed when the new rules will come into effect, it was previously said to be between summer 2022 to 2023.
The cap on the number of visitors is also yet to be confirmed, though the city is currently facing pre-pandemic levels of overcrowding with up to 80,000 visitors a day reported in August.
Tourists will also be expected to pay a $3.50 to $12 fee in order to enter the city for their vacation. Sky News reports that “residents, students and commuters will be exempt from the tourist tax,” as well as tourists who have paid a $5 overnight tariff when staying in a local hotel.
Speaking to reporters about the decision, Venice mayor Luigi Brugnaro said: “I expect protests, lawsuits, everything… but I have a duty to make this city liveable for those who inhabit it and also these who want to visit,” according to Sky News.
The Times of London previously reported that Venice has been struggling with so-called overtourism, and moved to ban large cruise ships from its waterways in August.
With attention now turning to other methods of restricting tourism, the city has introduced more personal measures which will see visitors tracked throughout their stay.
The Times added that surveillance methods include “CCTV cameras, optical sensors that trace movement and a phone-tracking system that monitors every mobile phone Sim card in the city.” It is hoped that tracking Sim cards will alert authorities when large crowds are forming in hot spots throughout the city so they can intervene and divert tourists to less densely populated areas.
Representatives for the mayor’s office did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.