FRANKFURT TO IMPOSE TOURISM LEVY ON LEISURE TRAVELERS

Theodore Slate - Jun 19, 2017
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The German city of Frankfurt is hoping for a new tourism levy to add several million euros to the city. All leisure visitors of Frankfurt will pay the fee per night starting next year.

The tourists will have to pay the so-called tourism fee in their hotels or accommodation in addition to the room rate. The mayor and chamberlain Uwe Becker said that the tourism levy should be between 1.50 and 2.50 euros per person per night. The exact amount has not yet been fixed.

Despite the fact that businesses travelers will not pay the new levy, it will annually flush millions to the town hall. Approximately, 30 percent of the almost nine million overnight stays in the city account to leisure travelers. A revenue of six million euros per year is, thus, likely to be easy to achieve.

Since the new levy is a contribution and not a tax, the revenues will not be included in the general budget, but only used for a specific purpose. The revenues should be used to improve the tourism infrastructure and expand marketing of Frankfurt.  A large part of the proceeds could benefit the marketing activities of the urban tourism and congress society.

The Hessian State Parliament, with the amendment of the Municipal Tax Act, had created the possibility that not only health resorts, but also “tourist resorts” would be able to collect specific contributions for the “creation, extension, maintenance and marketing” of tourist facilities and events. The Ministry of Economic Affairs has now acknowledged Frankfurt as the first Hessian commune to be a tourist destination.

New tourism levy for Frankfurt

Last week, Tarek Al-Wazir, Minister of Economic Affairs, presented the city’s huge importance for tourism in Hesse. More than one-third of overnight guests in the state stay in Frankfurt, and one in four nights is counted in Frankfurt.

The city is already discussing the exact form of contribution, amount per night etc. with the tourism industry and the Chamber of Commerce and Hotel and Restaurant Association. It is clear that the hotels should collect the amount for the city. Even private hosts, who offer their accommodation via Airbnb, will be obliged to collect the levy. Tourists, who will not stay in Frankfurt, will not be asked to pay.

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