Venice to charge tourist entry fee for short stays

Gondola in Venice, 27 Aug 17
For most of the year, Venice’s canals are crowded with boats

Venice has won approval to introduce an entry fee of up to €10 (£9; $11.50) for short-stay tourists.

Italy’s budget for 2019 has a clause enabling Venice to impose the fee, which will especially target day-trippers arriving on cruise ships.

Tourists already pay a similar “landing tax” when they visit Italy’s tiny Aeolian Islands.

Venetians have long complained that mass tourism is swamping the city, adored for its picturesque canals.

Hundreds of cruise ships moor in Venice every year, allowing over a million passengers to see the city’s sights.

Venice Mayor Luigi Brugnaro said the “landing tax” would generate much-needed income to keep the city clean.

It is expected to be set at €2.50 to €5 per person, but at peak times in the summer it could rise to €10. Venice plans to have the tax in place for the 2019 high season.

It will apply only to tourists, but it is not clear whether it will replace a city tax already levied on hotel occupants. That tax brings in about €30m annually, but the “landing tax” could generate more – an estimated €50m.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/embed/p06npwsb/46721456

Media captionVenetians are trying to find solutions to stop the exodus from their city

Cruise passengers are easily identified, Italian officials say, but it may prove harder to tax day-trippers arriving by air, road or rail.

Local residents, workers and students will be exempt. For years there have been protests by Venetians who say mass tourism is spoiling the city’s character.

Claudio Scarpa, head of the Venice hotel managers’ association Ava, said: “the principle is that whoever visits from morning to evening, contributing just a tiny amount to the revenue from tourism, but imposing costs on our services, must understand that it’s not all there for free”.

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P&O Cruises confirms an order for a second new ship

P&O Cruises confirms order for second new ship

A second large next-generation cruise ship for P&O Cruises was confirmed on Thursday as the line seeks to attract more first-time cruisers.

The vessel will be powered by Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and is due to join the fleet in 2022 – two years after a similar sister ship enters service.

The latest order will be 180,000 gross tons and have a capacity for 5,200 passengers, it’s set to be the largest cruise ship to be built specifically for the British market.

Both new ships will be registered in the UK and built by leading German shipbuilder Meyer Werft in Papenburg.

The ship will feature the Carnival Corporation’s exclusive “green cruising” design as one of the first generation of cruise ships to be powered by both while in port and at sea.

This will “significantly reduce” air emissions with the shipping industry’s most advanced fuel technology, the company claims.

The new ship is part of a fleet enhancement strategy with 19 new vessels set for delivery across Carnival Corporation brands between 2018 and 2022.

Carnival UK president Josh Weinstein said: “We are seeing the momentum in awareness of cruising both across the media and in our national psyche as ever-increasing numbers of people see first-hand the value for money, unrivalled service and extraordinary onboard experience.

“These two next-generation ships for delivery in the next four years are real and tangible evidence of our absolute optimism for future growth.”

P&O Cruises senior vice president Paul Ludlow added: “We have a bold and ambitious vision for P&O Cruises to become Britain’s number one holiday choice and we can only do that by increasing our fleet.

“The build for our 2020 ship begins this spring and it will offer all generations of British guests the holiday of a lifetime on the next generation of P&O Cruises ships.

“In four years’ time when her sister ship is launched, adding an additional 22% capacity, we will see an even greater rise in the popularity of cruising across all demographics and all age ranges including both Millennials and Generation Xers.

“Many of them have already learned to appreciate cruising by going on cruises with their families while growing up. Additionally, there are millions more we will attract in the future by retaining the amazing onboard and on-shore experiences and itinerary choices P&O Cruises is known for while reflecting forward-thinking trends and tastes of British holidaymakers.

“This evolution of the guest experience will be evident over the next few years but will be underpinned throughout with in-depth market insight and feedback we receive from the best source: our current, past and prospective guests.

“The first of our new ships will go on sale in September and we will be announcing key elements of the design and build this year.

“Our P&O Cruises signature features in dining and entertainment will be across all our ships, but the space and build of the two new ships allow us to have innovative new experiences to create the most memorable holidays.”

Thomas Weigend, managing director of Meyer Werft, said: “We are very happy to continue our excellent partnership with Carnival Corporation and P&O Cruises.”