Guest Column by Prachi Dhadwal and Harsh Pandorwala: The price of admission
Venice will soon make tourists entering the city pay a fee. How will this affect travel to the city?
Venice has become the world’s first city to charge tourists an entry fee. This is to prevent overcrowding, an issue that has plagued many tourism spots ever since the pandemic ended and #RevengeTravel began!
What stops other cities from charging tourists an entry fee, too? And is it such a bad thing, to pay a few extra Euros to enter a major tourist destination?
As avid travellers, we have mixed feelings about this. One part of us feels that travel is expensive enough as it is without adding additional entry fees to the mix. The other part feels that an entry fee could have added benefits. Lots of them.
Let’s start with the first problem that an entry fee would solve: over-tourism. Because of the pandemic everyone’s gone YOLO. So, everyone’s taking their vacation days and planning trips they had earlier deemed unnecessary. Over-tourism has a negative environmental impact, such as increased water consumption, air pollution, litter and waste in tourism destinations.
And let’s face it. Places like museums, palaces and temples that charge an entry fee tend to attract crowds that behave in an orderly and responsible manner. This feeling of being cautious comes naturally when you are expected to pay, no matter how insignificant an amount, to enter a site. The entry fee makes tourists appreciate the location and its history more and they also help pay for maintenance which keeps the site in shape, translating to a better experience.
It’s important that the entry fee be accounted for and managed in the most effective way possible by the authorities so that the real benefits become visible. The results of an entry fee will not be instant. But we will have to become open-minded about such a change.
Change is difficult. But if it can have a positive impact in the long run, then it is definitely worth trying. Yes, our trips will end up costing a bit more, but at least we’ll know that the fees we pay will help increase the longevity of cities that future generations can enjoy as well!
Prachi Dhadwal and Harsh Pandorwala, aka Two Tickets To Freedom, are travel and lifestyle content creators
I Say Chaps is a guest column that allows passionate, creative people a platform to have their say.
From HT Brunch, July 23, 2022
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