Venice to limit tourist groups to 25 people to protect city

The impact of tourism on the fragile lagoon city is a major factor in it being almost placed twice on Unesco’s list of heritage sites in danger

By AP

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Published: Sat 30 Dec 2023, 7:38 PM

Last updated: Sun 31 Dec 2023, 2:16 PM

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

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 centre as well as the heavily visited islands of Murano, Burano and Torcello.

The city previously announced plans to test a new day-tripper fee this year. The 5 euros ($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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