Categorized | Destinations

Tourists pay more to keep Venice above water…

Posted on 24 August 2011

The privilege of bedding down in Italy’s most romantic (or over-rated, depending on your point of view) city will now cost you up to five euros ($7.22) more, per person, per night.

A fleet of gondolas pass through a canal in Venice, Italy, where a new hotel tax goes into effect Aug. 24.
 

Officials say the new fees, which don’t apply to the estimated 70%-80% of Venice visitors who come for the day but stay elsewhere, are intended to “help the city improve the quality of the tourist services” and will be used for “salvaging the city’s cultural and architectural heritage.” But under Italian government rules, notes the London Independent, local authorities can also use tourist taxes to support public services – “leading to suspicions that this is a thinly veiled plan to help to stem Italy’s massive public deficit.”

 

Like similar taxes in Florence and Rome, the Venice charges are based in part on a hotel’s rating. The more stars, the more you’ll pay: From five euros per person, per night (up to five nights) at a five-star in the city’s historic center to one euro ($1.45) per person, per night at a one-star. Several tour companies, including Trafalgar, Insight Vacations and Contiki Holidays, say they’ll absorb the extra cost for travelers who book Venice stays through 2011.

 

But, explains expert Jessica Spiegel of Why Go Italy, other factors unique to Venice include location (you’ll pay less on other islands in the Venice lagoon or on the mainland), type of accommodation (hostel guests, for example, are off the hook) and time of year (low season rates are about half of those in high season, which runs April 1-Oct. 31 and includes Venice’s Carnival and other winter holidays

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