Venice city authorities announced that the city would postpone the launch of a new tourist levy as it tries to recover from the COVID-19 crisis that has shattered visitor numbers.
“In light of the current situation, linked to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have decided to make a big gesture to help encourage the return of tourists,” said Michele Zuin, the city councilor for budget issues, in a statement.
Venice officials said the tax, targeted at day-trippers excluded from an existing tax on tourists staying overnight, will not be in place until January 1, 2022.
Venice and its famous canals are usually packed with tourists and the new tax was intended to help cover the costs of keeping the city clean and safe.
Unlike the existing levy for stays in hotels or rented accommodation, it would apply to day-trippers, including those who arrive on cruise ships.
But Venice became a desert when coronavirus swept through Italy earlier this year, and ongoing restrictions around the world continue to hit tourist numbers.