Day trippers heading to Venice will currently be forced to pay an entrance charge of €5 (£4.30). Mitja Juraja/Pexels

Venice has become the world's first city to trial an entrance fee system for visiting tourists as they look to tackle overtourism.

Anyone looking to explore the famous Italian city must pay €5 (£4.30) to enter the area. However, you can avoid paying the entry fee if you stay overnight or for longer in the city, with proof of this needing to be submitted online to receive an exemption.

Plans to introduce the scheme were first unveiled last year. Venice's mayor, Luigi Brugnaro, introduced the measure to help afford the high maintenance costs of running a city as popular and fashionable as Venice.

The newly introduced fee only applies to day trippers as they comprise most of the city's tourist demographic. They make up 70 per cent of the 25 million visitors that the city welcomes each year.

Day trippers contribute to just 30 per cent of Venice's tourist revenue as they are not around for long, which means the city is not benefiting as much as it should be from its large popularity.

Over time, Venice has shifted from a common residing area into mostly a tourist spot. Just 50,000 reside full-time in the city now, compared to 175,000 people in the period just after the Second World War.

The trial period for the entrance fee began on Apr. 25 and will last every day from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. until May 5; then, it will only apply on weekends until July. Anyone found to have not paid the fee will risk having to pay a fine of up to €500 (£430).

Tourists spending the day in Venice can pay the fee through a dedicated online platform, which will grant them a QR code once done.

City transport and tourism official Arianna Fracasso revealed to The Independent that the entrance fee policy is being trialled "to safeguard the city from overtourism."

Fracasso added: "It's like a museum in the open air, so we want to safeguard it. It's an experimental thing just for this year. Next year, maybe it will be changed."

Officials hope the change encourages tourists to spend more time in Venice as its longer-term visitors contribute more to the city's income by being bigger spenders.

Last Thursday, the fee's introduction was met with significant disapproval from Venice's residents as they protested at the city's main bus terminal, Piazzale Roma. They believe the scheme will not benefit the locals due to the lack of distribution to meet their needs.

One resident, Nicola Ussardi, suggested where investment should be heading in Venice: "It needs to be clarified where all this income will go. They should repair the thousands of abandoned houses in this city. However, that's unlikely to happen. Instead, residents keep leaving; the city is emptying."

It could encourage other major cities across the globe to follow suit depending on the level of success that Venice finds from its trial of entrance fees for tourists. Some towns may still struggle to stay afloat after the COVID-19 pandemic, so tourism could be seen as the sector that regularly generates income as people travel.