Justin N. Froyd - Nov 5, 2018
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In many countries of the world tourists are charged the so-called “tourist tax”. It is mostly aimed at developing infrastructure or minimizing damage from vacationers, including cleaning beaches, restoring buildings in historic city centers and improving the urban environment. The current trend in Europe is that these fees are increasing with the view of trying to offer guests the best possible experience.


In Germany, the size of the daily tourist tax (Kurtaxe) or city tax is determined by the authorities of individual states together with tourist associations. In most cities and resorts the payment of the fee happens upon arrival, with business travelers exempt from payment upon presentation of a written confirmation of the purpose of the trip. The fees vary throughout the country. For example, in Berlin and Cologne, tourists must pay 5% of the cost of living in a hotel. In Dresden, the tourist tax is 1.3 euros per person per day.


In Spain, guests pay a fee at the reception of hotels or hostels. Tax is levied on every adult tourist, while children under 16 are exempt from it. The fee depends on the category of the accommodation 5-star hotels charge a fee of 2.5 euros per person per day. In 4-star hotels the payment is 1 euro per person per day, while in other categories the fee is 0.5 euros.


In France, the tourist tax has a history of more than 100 years. In Paris, for example, a city tax is levied on tourists. As a rule, the traveler pays for it in the accommodation facility. If the room was booked and paid for via the Internet, then the guest pays the tax upon departure from the hotel. Even in the French capital the rate depends on the category of the hotel. It varies from 0.88 euros per day for hostels to 3.3 euros in 5-star hotels.


The rate of the tourism tax varies from 1 to 5 euros per night in Italy, depending on the type of accommodation and the class of the hotel. Only in Rome hoteliers can charge travelers up to 10 euros per night. According to Italian law, in some cases, the municipalities of the country may decide to levy a single tourist tax on hotel guests, regardless of the number of nights spent. The fee is charged at the end of the period of stay. In some cities, hoteliers automatically include the tax in the room rate in order to simplify the process.


From May 1, 2018, a tourist fee began to be collected from guests of accommodation facilities in the resort cities of Altai and Stavropol. The payment applies only to adults and amounts to 30 and 10 rubles per person per day, respectively. Since July the tax is also being collected in several cities in the Krasnodar region, with the amount being, again, about 10 rubles. It is paid upon arrival at the hotel. The penalty for non-payment of the tax varies from 500 to 2 thousand rubles.


From January 1, 2018 in Greece, a fee was also introduced for the hotel guests. It operates year-round, without any discounts in the low season. The amount depends on the category of accommodation. It is paid at the reception upon arrival. The fee varies from 4 euros for a 5-star hotel to 0.50 euros for hotels with 1 to 2 stars. Apartment tax is between 0.25 and 1 euro.

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  1. Tax in Spain

    In Spain only the Balearics and Catalonia do charge overnight fees. The remaining area have no such taxes. Cities like San Sebastián are debating the deployment of tourist taxing policies.

    David Mora (Afghanistan)
  2. Taxes

    I am not against taxes and every destination should decide the amount in the face of overtourism impacts. What I would like to know in detail is where and how the money will be reinvested in tourist and local community facilities among others. Should tourism taxes collected in Berlim, Barcelona, Rome, Lisbon and others revert to the rest of the countries?

    Rui Carvalho (Portugal)

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