Tourist taxes, not a novelty. Many European countries, like Greece, Spain, and Germany, long had city taxes, while hotel taxes are common in the US. The pandemic hit the travel industry hard, with closures and losses, leading many nations to consider tourist taxes to aid economic recovery. Explore tourist tax details and 2024 introductions below.
Tourist tax is a tax levied on tourists, typically by local governments. It is usually charged on a per-night basis and is collected by accommodation providers. Tourist taxes are used to fund a variety of purposes, including:
Examples of tourist taxes:
2024 will see several destinations introducing or changing their tourist tax systems. Valencia, Spain, and Venice, Italy, plan to impose tourist taxes on visitors.
The government has announced a tourist tax for Bali starting on February 14, 2024. Additionally, the UK will initiate an Electronic Travel Authorisation system for visitors from certain countries, requiring them to apply and pay for entry.
Furthermore, the EU is set to implement a new tourist visa requiring an amount of money for application for non-EU citizens travelling from outside the Schengen zone.
Several destinations currently have tourist taxes in place for travellers. The specific tax rates may change frequently, so it's advisable to check with your accommodation or the tourism board of each destination for the most up-to-date information on the amount you need to pay. Here are some examples:
Austria allows each municipality to determine its own tourist tax rate and use of revenues, leading to variations nationwide. For example, Vienna charges approximately 3.2% of the accommodation bill as tourist tax. This generates funds that the city invests into tourism infrastructure and marketing initiatives.
With taxes differing across Austrian destinations, it is essential for travellers to check the specific local tourist tax when planning visits and bookings. Other cities may have higher or lower rates than Vienna, or dedicate revenues to alternative tourism-related causes like cultural activities or city beautification projects.
By giving cities autonomy, Austria enables tailored tourist taxes that match local needs and priorities. However, the decentralised system also means tourists must verify taxes frequently when travelling within the country.
Belgium has a dynamic tourist tax system that undergoes frequent modifications across different cities and municipalities. For example, Brussels currently levies a nightly tourist tax added to hotel bills.
However, the country does not have a standardised national tourist tax. Instead, local governments can set and adjust rates to meet changing needs. Therefore, it is essential for travellers to Belgium to confirm the most up-to-date tourist taxes when booking accommodations in any destination. A city may raise or lower its tourist tax from one year to the next.
Neighbouring municipalities could also have very different rates. By empowering local authorities to respond nimbly to tourism volumes and infrastructure service requirements through tax adjustments, Belgium aims to optimise tourist tax revenues.
Bhutan takes a strategic approach to balancing tourism development and broader social goals through its Sustainable Development Fee (SDF). Most travellers must pay this daily fee, which recently decreased for adults in order to promote tourism growth.
Lowering the SDF expands Bhutan's tourism inflows and global visibility as a destination. But retaining the fee ensures tourists contribute fairly to social services from which they also benefit during their stays. This allows tourism to support, rather than overwhelm, Bhutan's unique culture and pristine environment.
Going forward, Bhutan can continue calibrating the SDF as necessary to attract tourists while remaining true to its sustainable development model and avoiding overtourism. The policy exemplifies innovative use of a tourist tax to balance tourism promotion and national well-being.
Bulgaria implements localised tourist taxes that are relatively low, typically under £1.30 per day depending on municipality and hotel class. Bulgaria strategically minimises tourist tax burdens to enhance its price competitiveness as an emerging destination.
The revenues generated are directed towards priorities like tourism marketing campaigns that raise Bulgaria's global profile and attract more visitors. Funds also back environmental protection initiatives in tourist zones, helping preserve the natural assets that draw travellers. Through such investments, low tourist taxes support tourism growth in a sustainable manner.
There is no standardised tourist tax across the Caribbean. Instead, each island nation sets its own rate. For example, St. Lucia levies an 8% tax while the Dominican Republic charges 18%.
The revenues generated help fund public infrastructure and services used by tourists, like roads, utilities, and waste management. This offsets the burdens that extensive tourism can place on island resources.
With rates varying significantly across popular tropical destinations, it is essential for travellers to verify the specific tourist taxes when planning Caribbean island hopping trips. Comparing total trip costs requires knowing taxes in advance, as they can add substantial fees to accommodation bills.
Croatia varies its tourist tax rates based on season and location to strategically manage high seasonal tourism flows. For instance, during peak summer, tourist hotspots may levy higher amounts per day tax. But in the quieter winter, the tax may drop in the same destinations.
This variability allows Croatia to limit overtourism strains in summer when demand surges. The higher tax also increases revenue from peak travellers to boost infrastructure and services. Meanwhile, lower winter taxes incentivize off-season travel.
Prague has implemented a low nightly tourist tax. This small per-night fee is added to hotel and accommodation bills in the Czech capital. While the tax remains affordable for visitors, aggregated revenues from Prague's high tourism volumes provide substantial funding for city priorities.
Specifically, the tourist tax enables investments into Prague's infrastructure, cultural heritage preservation, and tourism promotion initiatives. This ensures the city can support growing tourist activity while enhancing the amenities and activities that attract more visitors. Tourists also benefit from the funded improvements during their stays.
Through creative leverage of a low-cost tax, Prague facilitates sustainable tourism growth. The strategic tax helps the Czech capital maintain its beauty, enrich tourist experiences, and promote itself as a leading European destination. At the same time, the modest fee prevents deterrence of price-sensitive travellers.
France is a popular tourist destination known for its rich history, culture, and cuisine. As a result, many municipalities in France have implemented a tourist tax to help fund local projects and services. The rate of the tax varies depending on the location.
It's important to note that these rates are set by each individual municipality, so it's always a good idea to verify the rates for your specific destination before booking your trip. This will help ensure that you are aware of any additional costs associated with your stay and can plan accordingly.
In Germany, many cities apply a tourist tax to visitors, including Berlin. The tourist tax in Berlin is currently 5% of the hotel bill and is used to support local tourism initiatives. The funds generated from the tax are invested in the development of tourism infrastructure and services such as public transportation, museums, and cultural events.
Overall, the tourist tax is seen as a way to support local communities and enhance the tourism experience for visitors.
In Greece, the tourist tax applied to visitors varies depending on the type and size of the lodging. The funds generated from this tax are used to support the development of tourism infrastructure and services such as transportation, cultural events, and other initiatives that enhance the tourism experience for visitors.
It's important to note that the exact rate of the tourist tax may differ according to the destination and the accommodation type, so it's best to check the rates before booking your stay to ensure you are aware of any additional fees.
Hungary applies a tourist tax of around 4% on accommodation bills. The funds generated from this tax are used to support tourism development and promotion efforts in the country. This includes initiatives such as transportation, cultural events, and other activities that help enhance the tourism experience for visitors.
It's worth noting that the exact percentage of the tourist tax may vary depending on the location and type of accommodation, so it's best to check with your hotel or accommodation provider before booking your stay to ensure you are aware of any additional fees.
If you're planning a trip to Italy, it's important to keep in mind that tourist taxes vary across different municipalities in the country. This tax is typically collected by hotels, B&Bs, and other lodging establishments.
The funds raised from tourist taxes are often used to maintain and improve public spaces, such as parks and museums, as well as to promote cultural events and festivals. They may also be used to support local transportation services, such as buses and trains, that are often used by tourists to get around.
Japan introduced a standard tourist tax in January 2019. This tax is imposed on all foreign tourists and Japanese citizens who stay in hotels, inns, or other types of lodging facilities. The tax rate is fixed per night.
The funds raised from this tax are used to support tourism development in Japan, including the promotion of local attractions, cultural events, and infrastructure improvements. The tax also helps to ensure a sustainable tourism industry by funding environmental conservation initiatives.
The tax is collected by the lodging establishments and is usually added to the total bill at checkout. Some exceptions apply, for instance, children under the age of 12 and those staying at campgrounds or youth hostels are exempt from the tax.
Malaysia is one of the many countries around the world that levy a tourist tax to generate revenue to support tourism infrastructure and promotion. The tax rate in Malaysia is fixed per night and applies to all tourists, regardless of their country of origin or the type of accommodation they choose to stay in.
New Zealand is one of the countries that levy a tourist tax to generate revenue to support tourism and conservation. One of the taxes that the government collects is the International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL), and applies to all international visitors who stay in the country for less than 12 months.
The IVL is used to fund infrastructure and services that support tourism, such as public toilets, car parks, and visitor centres. Additionally, it supports conservation efforts, such as the protection of endangered species and their habitats, and the maintenance of walking trails and national parks.
It is worth noting that the IVL is not a visa or entry fee and does not guarantee entry into New Zealand. However, it is mandatory for all international visitors, and failure to pay the fee may result in fines or being denied entry into the country.
Portugal is known for its beautiful cities and attracts millions of tourists every year. Two of the most popular cities in Portugalare Lisbon and Porto. These cities are not only famous for their rich cultural heritage and historic landmarks but also for their tourist tax that visitors have to pay during their stay.
This tax is an important source of revenue for the cities and helps to maintain their status as top tourist destinations. So, if you are planning a trip to Portugal, don't forget to factor in the tourist tax as part of your budget.
Thailand imposes a tourist tax on each person who enters the country. This tax is collected at the airport and is used to support tourism marketing and development.
The funds generated from this tax are used to promote Thailand as a tourist destination in other countries, fund tourism-related research and development activities, and maintain and improve the country's tourism infrastructure.
This tax is a small price to pay for the many incredible experiences and attractions that Thailand has to offer, from beautiful beaches and ancient temples to bustling cities and delicious food.
Amsterdam, the capital city of the Netherlands, is a popular tourist destination that attracts millions of visitors every year. The city's popularity has led to high volumes of tourists, and the local government has implemented a tourist tax to manage the impacts of tourism on the city.
The tourist tax in Amsterdam is one of the highest in Europe, with visitors required to pay 7% of the hotel price. This tax is collected by hotels and other accommodation providers and is used to support the city's tourism industry, including marketing efforts and infrastructure development.
Tourist taxes in Switzerland are determined by individual cities, allowing for a range of rates across the country. These rates can vary depending on the destination. It's important to verify the specific tax rate in your chosen destination before your trip.
The tourist tax is typically collected by hotels and other lodging providers and is used to support local tourism efforts, such as marketing campaigns and infrastructure development.
If you're planning a trip to Switzerland, be sure to research the tourist tax in your destination to ensure that you're prepared to pay the correct amount upon arrival.
Tourist tax in Slovenia varies by city, with rates typically varying per person, per night. The tourist tax in Slovenia is collected by lodging providers, such as hotels and hostels, and is used to support local tourism efforts.
If you're planning a trip to Slovenia, be sure to check the exact tourist tax rate in your chosen destination before your trip to ensure that you're prepared to pay the correct amount. By paying this tax, you'll be contributing to the sustainability of Slovenia's tourism industry and helping to support the local community.
Tourist taxes have been increasing in some Spanish cities, with Barcelona being an example where the rate has been hiked per person, per night. The funds collected from these taxes are used to mitigate the negative impacts of tourism on the local environment and infrastructure, and to support the development of sustainable tourism practices.
It's important to note that tourist tax rates can vary depending on the destination, so it's a good idea to confirm the specific taxes in your chosen city before your trip. By doing so, you'll be able to budget accordingly and avoid any surprises.
If you're a UK citizen planning to visit the United States, it's important to know that you'll need to obtain a 90-day Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) permit before you travel.
The ESTA is a requirement for all UK citizens travelling to the US under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), which allows eligible citizens of participating countries to visit the US for tourism, business, or transit purposes without a visa for up to 90 days.
It's important to note that the ESTA is not a visa, and it does not guarantee entry into the US. However, having an approved ESTA can make the entry process smoother and faster.
What is a tourist tax or entry fee in travel destinations?
A tourist tax or entry fee is a charge imposed by certain travel destinations on tourists or visitors as a contribution towards local infrastructure, services, or environmental conservation.
Why do some travel destinations implement tourist taxes?
Tourist taxes are implemented to generate revenue for maintaining and improving local infrastructure, services, and environmental preservation, while also managing the impact of tourism.
How are tourist taxes collected, and who is responsible for paying them?
Tourist taxes are typically collected at the point of entry, such as at airports or border crossings. It is the responsibility of tourists or visitors to pay these fees.
What are the common uses of funds generated from tourist taxes?
The funds from tourist taxes are often used for maintaining roads, public facilities, cultural preservation, and promoting sustainable tourism practices within the destination.
Are tourist taxes the same in all travel destinations?
No, tourist taxes vary widely from one destination to another. The amount, collection methods, and purposes of these fees differ depending on the specific destination's policies.