From what I read the details were still to be decided, and variable pricing at peak/low season is planned (10 euro is the max planned, with 3 euro mentioned for low season).
Collection reckoned to be easy for the cruise ships (who'll no doubt factor into their pricing & pay in bulk). A bit harder for those coming in by train/bus etc. as locals / commuters are exempt. Logically asking the bus/coach/car parking organisations to administer would make most sense.
Bravo for Venice! It's about time. I have been to Venice several times but the last time about a year ago, was not as enjoyable as Venice was overrun by day trippers from cruise ships. St. Marks Square was so crowded, you could barely move. A city that I once loved had changed for the worse and I questioned whether I would ever return. Charging a fee is a step in the right direction. Now, let's hope that they use the extra revenue for the right things. €10 per person is a good starting point, but I can see that going up as needed.
Cruise ships bring a lot of tourists during the season but many more are brought in by boats ferrying tourists from the mainland for a few hours year round. They used to be mostly dropped off along the Bacino di San Marco but now many are being dropped off along the Zattere as well.
IMO, this tax/fee will have zero effect on the amount of people visiting, as it's a drop in the bucket with respect to total travel costs. So as a deterrent it has no significance. It can be a useful source of revenue to offset some of the negative impacts that the many tourists have on infrastructure, etc., if used wisely (and not lost, say, in bureaucratic mazes). And you can't raise the fee very much, because that would not be fair to tourists who are less well off.
If destinations like this are indeed bent on lowering the amount of tourists - and I'm not sure they are - then the only realistic option today is to limit the amount of time a tourist can spend in them, or restrict the flow in other ways. This, for sure, raises other questions, but I think it should be seriously considered.
Solutions that involve the use of "smart" management of infrastructures and movement of people are still on the drawing board, and I don't believe they can make more than cosmetic improvements. Crowds are crowds, travel is on the rise, and old cities are just that.
In the end it will all come down to personal choices. Those of us who have only experienced a popular destination while being surrounded by throngs of foreigners like himself, and have found sufficient pleasure while doing so, will continue to other destinations like this. Others will cross them, with regrets or not, off their list.
The locals will also have to make their choices, some embracing the situation, and some, like we have seen, clearly showing their discontent by (for example) displaying banners or posters deploring tourists who use AirBnB in their city.
I agree that something needs to be done but it seems that every new administration says they will do something, puts out a proposal, then walks away from it when they get push back or can't figure out how to implement their idea. I guess I'll believe it when I see it.
I think you have a point that we just have to get used to this. Personally we either deal with the crowds, like we did recently in the Cinque Terre, or avoid these places. Places are crowded now because more people are traveling and that is probably because travel is cheaper. Also as large countries like China become more affluent, they start to travel. We don't want to go back to 50 or more years ago when only the wealthy could travel.
I like the idea of a tourist tax like Venice will be doing. The Cinque Terre has a version of this where you pay to walk on the trails. But it probably won't cut down on the crowds significantly.
In talking with our Venetian landlord, he thinks that it is a good idea to charge a fee, but that the city should provide some benefits like free access to toilettes for everyone. Too many are doing "their business" in the alleyways.
From the article: “The trouble is that the Venetian and Florentine tourist tax will only exacerbate the problem. It won’t reduce numbers, but merely encourage the tourists’ sense that they are in a financially exploitative relationship. And if you have turnstiles at the city gates, the authenticity they so desperately seek is replaced by disappointment in a tinny confection, akin to a theme park. The Faustian pact remains: only now – as with all those dodgy ice-cream sellers – the price is inflated.”
You know, I used to live about an hour west of Venezia. I have to say I only went, perhaps 4-5x in the 2 years I lived there. I'm sure it's a lovely city. It's just that the tourist throngs made it so unbearable that I swear I felt like I was in an amusement park. The only time I enjoyed the city was when I got off a flight around 11pm from visiting another city and went to Venezia to catch the train home. I ended up staying up all night in Venezia and having the city streets to myself at night was an amazing treat. It was gothic beauty and eerie at the same time.