Say you find yourself standing in a famous destination with an Italian espresso in your hand. Maybe you close your eyes gently and think about music from an opera.
Like the feeling? You may need to pay for it.
The beloved city of Venice is now set to charge an entry fee through a booking system to all tourists who wander around the car-less, singular environs.
Think of this like a theme park without the rides, attractions or the Bavarian pretzels.
Unlike Legoland, Disneyland, or other U.S.-based theme-park operations, tourists love strolling in this European destination. But the high-demand summer season is seeing ever-rising tourism and sometimes too-big-to-handle crowds.
How to control it?
City officials have come up with the idea of having tourists pay an “entry” fee to experience vistas of classic Venetian Gothic architecture, as well as the smells, people and water views. Staying at a hotel, attending a museum or two, buying multiple meals at Venetian restaurants is on your tab.
Does this mean ever-more media content, experiences and real and virtual world stuff being attached to a value proposition?
Take those fancy new, one-of-a-kind digital assets, called NFTs -- “Non-Fungible Tokens.” (Why the “non” descriptor here? Because anything ‘fungible’ can be replaced. Non-fungible is unique.)
These assets are expanding beyond digital trading cards, GIFs, physical works of art and video clips. Now, due to potentially solving the problem of the limited blockchain data storage -- where the NFTs reside -- new NFTs could be created around entire movies or TV shows.
Figure this could be new competition -- way in the future, of course -- that legacy premium TV streamers and in-theater purveyors of movies will have to contend with as burgeoning consumer entertainment spending trends grow.
Back to Venice: The good news is that the entry fee is reported to be between 3 and 10 Euros -- about $4 to $12. That's versus a top-drawer Disneyland daily price tag of $140. That's a deal.
And before you criticize the slight association of Venice as a “theme park,” think about this: As part of the plan, starting the summer 2022, La Stampa, an Italian newspaper says there will be “electronic turnstiles” to enter the city.
If city officials go further, I’m guessing Venetian-themed costumes might be optional.