Spending the day in the picturesque city of, one of the world's most popular tourist destinations, will soon cost a few extra euros for visitors not staying overnight. Venice's City Council approved a visitors' tax on day-trippers late Tuesday.
Day-trippers will be charged a daily tax of 3 euros ($3.40) for the rest of 2019, starting at a date in May still to be determined. Venice officials said the tax is meant to generate revenue for public services that cost more to provide in the lagoon city, such as trash collection and the cleaning of public areas.
The charge would double next year. But it also would vary on low- and high-traffic days beginning in 2020, with the tax ranging from 3 euros to 10 euros.
About 80 percent of the approximately 30 million people who visit Venice annually do not spend the night, so the city loses out on potential earnings from hotel taxes, CBS News correspondent Seth Doane reported in January. Venetians told Doane they're concerned the daily deluge of visitors -- some coming on giant cruise ships -- was not only straining the city's resources and delicate architecture but causing Venice to lose its soul.
The city also adopted more than 20 exemptions to the tax. Among the people who won't have to pay are individuals born, living, working or studying in Venice, children under age 6 and people visiting relatives.
The tax applies to visiting Venice's historic center and any of the lagoon's nearly 50 islands. City officials said it can be paid at transportation and tourism agencies.
It will be included in the price of some travel systems, such as a train ticket to Venice Santa Lucia station, and people eligible for exemptions will have a chance to prevent charges. The city plans to experiment this year on the best ways to enforce the tax, a spokesman said.
Scofflaws face fines of up to 450 euros.