5-speed listening (Venice - Level 3)

Venice set to charge tourists to enter the city



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Venice, Italy is one of the world's top tourist destinations. Before the coronavirus pandemic, around 20 million visitors a year visited the city. This caused many problems such as pollution from cruise ships and overcrowding. To deal with these problems, city officials are planning to charge tourists to visit the city's historical centre and its beautiful canals. According to Italy's La Stampa newspaper, entry into Venice could cost between three euros ($3.50) and 10 euros. This could start from the summer of 2022. There are also plans to set a limit on the number of visitors who can enter the centre each day. Tourists may need to book their visit to Venice before they go.

Venice officials have talked for many years about the number of visitors flocking to the city. Environmentalists are worried about the damage cruise ships do to marine life in the Venice Lagoon. Heritage lovers want to protect Venice's famous squares and architecture from the millions of tourists. This made Italy's Culture Minister say that there is a "concrete risk" of the United Nations culture agency UNESCO adding Venice to its list of World Heritage in Danger sites. However, a hotel worker said Venice needed cruise ships. He said: "They spend big in a short time, before sailing out." A city official is worried that charging tourists a fee to enter will turn Venice into a "theme park".

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