Beautiful European city swamped by tour groups cracks down on number of travellers | World | News

December 31, 2023
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A beautiful European city usually swamped by tourists has cracked down on the number of travellers allowed into the city.

The city of Venice announced new limits on Saturday on the size of tourist groups, marking the latest move to reduce mass tourism in the famous Italian canal city.

Beginning in June, tourist groups will be limited to 25 people or roughly half the capacity of a tour bus, officials said.

The city also banned the use of loudspeakers, “which can generate confusion and disturbances,” according to a statement.

Elisabetta Pesce, the city’s security official, said the policies were aimed at improving the movement of groups through Venice’s historic center, as well as the popular islands of Murano, Burano, and Torcello.

READ MORE: The beautiful European island that went to war with cruise ships

Venice previously announced plans to test a new day-tripper fee this year, in which tourists would pay five euros apiece to enter the city on peak weekends to reduce crowds, encourage longer visits, and improve the quality of life for residents.

The five-euro fee will be applied on 29 peak days between April and mid-July, including most weekends.

The UN cultural agency said it has twice considered placing Venice on UNESCO’s list of heritage sites in danger due to tourism’s impact on the fragile city.

The city escaped being added to the list the first time by limiting the arrival of large cruise ships through the Giudecca Canal.

Venice dodged the second attempt in September when it announced the day-tripper charge, which had been delayed when tourism declined during the Covid pandemic.

The city has pointed to longer-term tourists as the key to its survival, since they tend to spend more and disrupt residents less.

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