Venice to limit tourist groups to 25 people from June to avoid mass tourism

View of Saint Mark's Basin in Venice, Italy, January 31, 2021. Photo: Reuters/Manuel Silvestri/File Photo

Milan: Italy's canal city Venice to limit the size of tourist groups from June this year, to reduce the pressure of mass tourism and protect the area. Starting in June, groups will be limited to 25 people or roughly half the capacity of a tourist bus, and the use of loudspeakers, which can generate confusion and disturbances, will be banned, the city said in a statement. The city official charged with security, Elisabetta Pesce, said the policies were aimed at improving the movement of groups through Venice's historic center as well as the heavily visited islands of Murano, Burano, and Torcello.

The city previously announced plans to test a new day-tripper fee last year. The 5 euros (USD 5.45) per person fee will be applied on 29 peak days between April and mid-July, including most weekends. It is intended to regulate crowds, encourage longer visits, and improve the quality of life for Venice residents. The UN cultural agency cited tourism's impact on the fragile lagoon city as a major factor in it twice considering placing Venice on UNESCO's list of heritage sites in danger. 

The city escaped the first time by limiting the arrival of large cruise ships through the Giudecca Canal and again in September when it announced the roll-out of the day-tripper charge, which had been delayed when tourism declined during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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