In a bid to address the persistent issue of over-tourism, the city of Venice in Italy is set to restrict the number of travelers allowed in tour groups starting next summer. According to an official statement from the city, tour groups will be capped at a maximum of 25 people. This limitation is slated to encompass Venice’s historic center as well as the popular islands of Murano, Burano, and Torcello.
While this measure is subject to examination by the city council, it is anticipated to take effect on June 1 if approved. Simone Venturini, the tourism councilor, emphasized that this provision is part of a broader strategy aimed at enhancing the management of tourism in Venice. Venturini stated, “It is a provision that is part of a broader framework of interventions aimed at improving and better managing tourism in Venice, thus guaranteeing a greater balance between the needs of those who live in the city, either as residents or as workers, and those who [come] to visit the city.” He further noted that the chosen limit of 25 aligns with the existing norms for visits to the city’s civic museums.
In addition to regulating tour group sizes, Venice will also enforce a ban on loudspeakers that could cause disturbance and confusion for both residents and visitors.
This decision follows a series of initiatives aimed at curbing tourism in Venice, including the impending introduction of a tourist tax for day visitors. Initially proposed in 2019 and postponed multiple times, the fee is set to be implemented during most weekends from April 25 to mid-July, amounting to €5 ($5.47) per person.
These measures come amid ongoing efforts to safeguard Venice from over-tourism, even as UNESCO spared the city from inclusion on its list of world heritage sites in danger. Venice, under UNESCO scrutiny for years, undertook preservation efforts in 2021, such as designating the waterways around the city as a “national monument” and prohibiting large cruise ships from navigating its canals.