Venice's Bold Move: Booking Required for Tourist Access

Venice's Bold Move: Booking Required for Tourist Access

By Author

Published on November 28, 2023

In a groundbreaking move to manage the influx of tourists, Venice, the iconic Italian city known for its picturesque canals, is set to implement a daily admission fee and a cap on visitor numbers starting April 2024. This initiative is being hailed by Mayor Luigi Brugnaro as the first of its kind in the world.

Venice's new tourism management scheme will be tested initially during Spring Bank Holidays and some weekends in the summer when tourist traffic typically spikes. “It is the first time in the world that you do something like this, you make a city bookable,” stated Mayor Brugnaro.

Travelers planning to visit Venice during these peak times will be required to book their visit online and pay a fee of 5 euros ($5.45) to receive a QR code. This code will be checked at designated entry points, granting them access to the city’s historic quarters between 0830 to 1600 local time. The restrictions, covering 29 days, will mostly be in effect from April 25 to mid-July of the following year.

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The restrictions will not extend to the smaller islands in the lagoon, such as Murano, known for its glass-making. Violators of the new rule will face fines ranging from 50 to 310 euros. However, exemptions are in place for residents, natives, students, workers, and homeowners in Venice. Children under the age of 14 can access the city free of charge but must be registered.

Venice's initiative comes as a response to the challenges of mass tourism and frequent floods, which have long been a concern for the fragile lagoon city, renowned for its canals and cultural heritage. This measure aims to balance the preservation of the city’s unique character with the economic benefits of tourism.

With this bold step, Venice is leading the way in sustainable tourism management, setting a precedent for other popular destinations facing similar challenges.


Maldives Steps Up Efforts to Attract Indian Tourists with Road Shows

Maldives Steps Up Efforts to Attract Indian Tourists with Road Shows

By Nishang Narayan

Published on April 15, 2024

The Maldives tourism sector, once a top choice for Indian holidaymakers, is making concerted efforts to win back travellers from India. This push comes after the island nation observed a significant decline in Indian visitors, spurred by a social media incident where Maldivian officials made derogatory comments about India and its Prime Minister, Narendra Modi.

The Maldives Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators (MATATO) is spearheading this initiative by planning to conduct road shows in several major Indian cities. These events aim to mend ties and promote the Maldives as an ideal vacation spot. In addition, MATATO has expressed a desire to enhance tourism collaboration with India during discussions with India's high commissioner in the Maldives, Munu Mahawar.

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Despite traditionally being one of the Maldives' largest tourist markets, India recently fell to the sixth position in terms of visitor numbers, overtaken by countries like China and the United Kingdom. To address this, MATATO is not only focusing on road shows but also planning influencer and media familiarisation trips in the upcoming months.

This renewed focus on attracting Indian tourists is part of a broader strategy to strengthen bilateral ties and boost the tourism sector, which is crucial for the Maldives' economy. The initiative reflects both nations' interests in maintaining strong travel and tourism relations, despite recent political tensions.


Philippines Eyes Seven Accolades at World Travel Awards 2024

Philippines Eyes Seven Accolades at World Travel Awards 2024

By Nithyakala Neelakandan

Published on April 15, 2024

The Philippines is once again in the spotlight as it competes for seven prestigious awards at the World Travel Awards (WTA) 2024, reaffirming its status as a top destination in Asia and beyond.

This year, the country is nominated for Asia’s Leading Beach Destination, Dive Destination, and Island Destination, showcasing its diverse array of natural wonders and attractions. Additionally, iconic landmarks such as Intramuros, Boracay, and Cebu have received nominations in various categories, highlighting their cultural significance and tourism appeal.

Expressing gratitude for the nominations, Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco emphasized the importance of showcasing the Philippines' diverse tourism offerings on the global stage. She highlighted the significance of these accolades in not only adding prestige but also creating livelihood opportunities for millions of Filipinos whose well-being depends on tourism.

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The Philippines' tourism achievements in 2023 were noteworthy, with several recognitions from the WTA, including the World’s Leading Dive Destination and the World’s Leading City Destination. The country also received the Global Tourism Resilience award, underscoring its leadership and innovation in overcoming challenges and adversity in the industry.

As the voting for the WTA continues until July 28, travelers and industry professionals have the opportunity to support the Philippines' outstanding tourism initiatives and contribute to its sustained growth in the tourism sector. By casting their votes, they can play a vital role in promoting the Philippines as a premier travel destination and showcasing its rich cultural heritage, breathtaking landscapes, and warm hospitality to the world.

With its rich natural beauty, diverse attractions, and vibrant culture, the Philippines remains a top contender in the global tourism landscape, poised to capture the hearts of travelers worldwide and solidify its position as an unrivaled destination for unforgettable experiences and adventures.


Surge in Pilgrims Anticipated in Uttar Pradesh Ahead of Festival Season

Surge in Pilgrims Anticipated in Uttar Pradesh Ahead of Festival Season

By Nishang Narayan

Published on April 14, 2024

As Uttar Pradesh gears up for the festive season, religious tourism is seeing a notable revival. Cities like Varanasi, Ayodhya, and Mathura are at the forefront, preparing to host millions of pilgrims for events such as Ram Navami and Navratri. Varanasi alone witnessed a staggering 95.63 lakh pilgrims in March, predominantly for darshan at the Kashi Vishwanath Temple.

The state's tourism infrastructure is under significant enhancement to accommodate this surge. The recent inauguration of the Kashi Vishwanath Corridor has already increased visitor numbers, with donations to the temple reaching new heights. Similarly, the new Ram Lalla Temple in Ayodhya, following the consecration of the Ram Lalla idol, is attracting a daily average of over two lakh visitors.

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The increase in pilgrims has also been supported by improved air connectivity, with Ayodhya now offering 24 daily flights, including new routes to major cities like Hyderabad and Mumbai. These developments have not only facilitated easier access for devotees but also spurred economic growth in the region.

Local markets are expected to benefit significantly from the influx of tourists, particularly through the One District One Product (ODOP) initiative, which promotes local crafts and specialties. This surge in tourism is anticipated to create numerous indirect employment opportunities, enhancing the livelihoods of the local populace.

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As the state continues to develop its religious tourism infrastructure, including the construction of the Mathura-Vrindavan Corridor, the potential for cultural exchange and economic prosperity appears promising. This holistic approach aims not only to enhance the spiritual experience for visitors but also to foster community development and empowerment across Uttar Pradesh.

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