Venice is set to introduce a tourist tax that would kick in in May this year.
Under the new system, tourists will have to fork out €3 during the low season, €8 during the high season and €10 during key seasons, when visitation to the Italian city peaks.
In addition, by 2020, visitors will have to make a booking before entering the city.
A fine of up to €450 will be imposed on those found to be disregarding the new rules.
Revenue from the tax would go towards maintaining and managing the popular tourist destination, especially waste management. Currently, Venetians are paying high charges for such services.
Visitors who stay overnight in the city will not be subject to the new tax system. This is because they are already subject to a fluid “stay” tax per night which changes according to the season, location and age.
Venetians, as well as Italians who work in the city, are not subject to the new levy. Children below six are also exempted from the tax.
Despite the new system, visitors will, however, not be denied entry into the city. The city mayor clarified that the “city will remain open to all”, and there will not be any entry gates.
The tax was first proposed late last year and has since been approved by the Venetian city council.
While largely well-received by Italian politicians, the new regulation received major flak from Gian Marco Centinaio, the country’s Minister of Tourism.
Labelling it a “useless and damaging” measure, he further expressed on Twitter that it was “enough to make you weep” and questioned if Italy “want(ed) to become a country that repels tourists.”