The European Tour Operators Association (ETOA) held a meeting on August 23 with the assessors in charge of tourism and transport in Venice. The main theme of the meeting was to work to improve the lines of communication between the city and the wider travel industry, as well as address the issue of adequate notice for planned changes. Venice has become the latest Italian city to introduce an accommodation tax, which came into force on August 24.
The main objection from within the industry is that the levy was introduced at such short notice leaving hoteliers playing the role of tax collector and operators with a last-minute cost they had not factored into their packages.
Many have had to absorb the tax for trips this summer, costing in some cases hundreds of thousands of euros. Such so-called targeted taxes were introduced into federal law this year to offset cuts in central funding, and Venice has produced leaflets thanking visitors for “sponsoring” the city.
The council confirmed that it plans to go ahead with moving all tourist coach drop-offs out of Piazzale Roma in October to Tronchetto but said this would not affect coach tariffs overall due to the new funds available. There are also plans to improve and expand facilities, which ETOA would welcome as it has long argued that groups should be afforded the correct welcome and receive services proportionate to the high permit costs they pay to enter the city.
“We would like to avoid the slow drip-drip of information, which at times can be like a game of Chinese whispers, passing through the local tourism industry and media into the wider world”, said Nick Greenfield, Head of Tour Operator Relations. “We welcome the chance to act as an intermediary and ensure that such an important destination works well with the wider travel industry.”
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