Venice Planning Tourist Tax

Posted Oct 18th 2010 10:09 AMUpdated Oct 18th 2010 10:16 AM

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Venice already has advertising plastered on sights including the Bridge of Sighs, in a controversial attempt to pay for restorations. And now the Italian government is considering a tax on tourists arriving by plane, train and ship.

With its crumbling canal-side palaces, churches and monuments, Venice gets some 20 million tourists a year, but the visitors don't provide enough revenue for repairs, officials say.

The Italian government has a draft plan that would allow Venetian authorities to charge a tariff. No amount has been set – but a previous proposal suggested one euro (about $1.39) for arriving cruise passengers.

Proponents of the plan include Italy's minister for public administration and innovation, himself a Venetian. The city's mayor is also backing the concept.

But some have argued in the past that such a tariff would make Venice seem like a theme park.

The tariff would apply to those flying into Marco Polo airport, arriving by train or disembarking from cruise ships – Venice has become an increasingly popular cruise port.

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