The government has scrapped plans for a tourist tax, which would have allowed Italian towns and cities to add 5 per day to foreign visitors' hotel bills.

The withdrawal of the levy from the 2007 budget was met with relief by both the national and international tourism associations and operators, particularly smaller local companies, who feared that this would have dissuaded foreigners from visiting Italy. Culture and tourism Minister Francesco Rutelli has expressed his support for the U-turn, commenting on the government's wise decision.

Italy's most popular tourist destinations, Rome, Florence and Venice, had previously shown support for the proposed tourist tax as a means for improving and maintaining monuments, tourist facilities and services and keeping the cities clean and orderly.