Venice taxing tourists to pay for restoration

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Car Rental News - 28/07/2011


Tourists are helping to cover the £20 million cost of a Venice restoration project.

From next month, travellers visiting Italy’s historic northern city of Venice are to be charged a tourism tax. The tax is being levied in order to provide the £20 million needed for a restoration project being planned by the city’s local council.

Visitors who stay in Italy’s great lagoon city will have to pay an extra charge on top of the cost of their hotel rooms, starting 24 August. The charge will go towards the city’s renovation and protection.

The fee, which is being calculated on a sliding scale, will help deal with the problems cause by the fact that Venice is slowly sinking into the sea. The extra fee will depend hotel’s star ratings and is aimed at cashing in on the lucrative market for city breaks.

Venice is visited by an average of 60,000 people every day. Many of Venice’s visitors come from the UK and the city of gondolas and canals is famous as one of Europe’s top romantic weekend destinations.

Sandro Simionato, deputy mayor of Venice, said the tourist tax was vital to help La Serenissima, as the city is at risk. The artistic and architectural heritage of Venice and its Lagoon have been recognised with UNESCO World Heritage status.

Mr Sinionato said that the tax represents an important new opportunity for Venice. He said the primary aim was to save the unique city, which he labelled, ‘precious and fragile’.

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