Return to site

Venice Begins Testing Visitation Law

· Travel News,Italy

Ciao Lettori! (readers), the beginning of peak booking season is upon Mr. Travel Agent, LLC. Which finds Mr. Travel Agent, LLC already at nearly or over 50% client capacity for the year and it's only mid Feburary. With the peak upon us, comes news we insiders knew was coming, but just didn't know how/when it was going to be started and enforced. While now we do, and so being, comes my newest blog release on Venice.

As the title suggest Venice will begin tourist & visition rules effective this summer for the first time ever. Now Venice has already taken action against the cruise industry a year or so ago, in several ways.

First Venice authorities prohibited oversized cruise liners from sailing through the Giudecca, which was a highlight when sailing in/out of Venice, as your sailing through the canal out into the lagoon, and passed by the San Marco and saw the island and waived off all the people walking along the lagoon waterfront. Venice put a stop to this, as it was not only causing overcrowding on the island of Venice itself, but it was also causing pollution and enviromental issues to the waters of Venice. In addition increasing docking charges to use the Venice Cruise Terminal for cruise lines, and more strict requirements cruise lines has to meet in order to be allowed to dock on the island at the cruise terminal, means fewer cruise lines will consider calling on Venice Island as a port of embarkation or disembarkation. Already we see cruise lines shifting to Ravenna or Trieste, and no longer calling on Venice itself.

News this week of Venice now instating new visitor & tourism controls means even heavier costs to cruise lines, and large scale tour operators, in addition to a minor visitor pass cost to individuals. First lets look at the individual visitor requirements.

A.) Effective April 25th to May 5th and all Saturdays & Sundays through July 14th (excluding June 1st & 2nd), between the hours of 8:30am and 4:00pm, a cost of 5,00 Euro per person will be charged to every person 14 y/o of age or older entering into Venice Island (besides workers/residents/property owners). This visitor pass entry fee will need to be booked online in advance of arrival at and everyone will need to pay for their entry and secure a QR coded pass. Arriving into Venice port/station/Piazzale Roma without one could result is you being prohibited from entering the ancient island city. While local purchase will be an option, waiting to buy a pass locally could result in delays and long lines to try to enter the island.

broken image

You must carry the QR pass with you at all times, and if asked for proof by authorities you must present it immediately, if you fail to show pass, first you will be strictly fined for breaking the law, and 2nd you could be evicted from the island immediately. Venice is not joking around with this, and any Venice police officer can stop you and ask to see your pass.

B.) Now for how this is going to effect cruisers and escorted tour groups is a multi issue, many individuals will not think about, but you can bet the cruise lines and escorted tour companies are not going to be happy about these new rules. To the point one major cruise line this week already said the new rules will force the line to no longer call on Venice at all. Why?

1.) Every single person stepping off a cruise line will need a pass to visit the island. Even if the ship calls on Ravenna or Trieste, to bring their guests onto the island everyone will need a pass. Any one going on a daytrip excursion involving any part of the island will need a pass. Anyone doing a Venice pre/post cruise stay will need a pass.

2.) Groups on the island are now reduced to 20 max. This is a huge enforcement, and it I believe will cause many cruise lines to rethink the island at all. Why? Cruise lines/escorted tours touring Venice by group walking tours and day trip visits would normally book 1 guide per 40 people, cruise lines even more. Now cruise lines and tour operators will need to hire more private guides for their guests. Imagine a cruise line that has 3000 people, and 500 of them book a Classical Venice Walking Tour. Now that cruise line needs to hire 25 professional Venice guides, instead of half that if not less. This will cause cruise lines to pay much more for these guided tours for cruisers. While escorted tours will likely need 2 guides per coach instead of 1, doubling their costs in Venice. Consider also not only this, but as the demand for these guides goes up, guess what else will happen, then guides themselves will increase their prices for hire, knowing they will be in extremely high demand. Companies on the island that operated group tours, now have to reduce group capacity and pay higher costs to their guides.


broken image

I think many cruise lines will drop Venice completely, and it will be left up to the individual to go visit the island at their own cost pre or post cruise. Of course this is the actual goal Venice is going after, they want the cruise lines to leave, they want some kind of visitor control, as the island is extremely overcrowded due to mass tourism, and Venice is trying to get some control on this issue. The authorities state it is not about making money, in charging for entry, but to control overcrowding. While they did not disclose an actual cap on daily visitation, nor said they would at anytime determine to close off the island if a certain daily cap was hit, but monitoring entry actually could allow them to do this if they wanted. For now this is a test summer, and dates beyond July have not been disclosed.


So to wrap up if you are visiting Venice on any dates disclosed in the announcement, you need to buy a entry pass online, so you can know you are all set to visit the island this summer. If you are staying on the island, you need to go to the website and apply for entry pass for your stay dates, with proof of stay.


As for my clients, I'll take care of applying for the passes (as long as I can), and save you the time from doing it yourself. Though clients, you will need to pay for the pass at costs if not staying on the island itself.

Don't break the law, the 5,00 Euro is minor, and the cost if you are caught without a pass will be much more severe.

Until the next blog, a presto!

broken image