An ever-increasing number of European cities or regions are applying tourist taxes to travelers who stay overnight in their lodgings, albeit with large differences in the amount charged depending on the tourist destinations.
Both Catalonia and the Balearic Islands, the only two of Spain's Autonomous Communities to charge a tourist tax, are among regions which charge the least. For a one week stay in a 5 star hotel in Catalonia, the visitor will be required to pay up to 17.75 euros, while in the Balearic Islands this number is around 14 euros.
The Highest Taxes – Belgium and Italy
According to statistics gathered by Kayak, Belgium and Italy are the tourist destinations with the highest tourist taxes. Travelers who decide to visit Brussels are required to pay approximately 42, 56 or 70 euros for a seven night stay in a 3, 4, or 5 star hotel respectively.
In the case of Italy, Rome is in the lead with a maximum tax of 49 euros for the same seven-night stay. Next in line is Florence, Venice and Milan with an average of 35 euros. Except in the case of Venice, where only the first 5 days are charged for, in the rest of Italy's cities, the tax is charged for the first ten days.
The Lowest Taxes - Lisbon
Other European capitals, such as Amsterdam, Berlin, and Vienna, calculate the tax according to the cost of the room and not according to the category of the establishment. In these cities, the percentages reach 6%, 5% and 3.2%, respectively.
Paris, for its part, charges up to 20.10 euros for a seven night stay in a 5 star hotel, and the tax rate decreases with the category of the hotel. Lisbon is, without a doubt, the destination with the lowest tourist taxes. Every tourist is required to pay one euro per night, regardless of the category of the hotel at which they are staying.
Iceland to Keep the Tourists Away
Iceland is likely to use the tourist taxes to keep mass tourism away. The minister of tourism of Iceland recently announced implementing a new tax which should control the number of visitors coming to the country and increasing the revenues.
Iceland has been fighting uncontrollable growth of tourism for years. In 2010 the country welcomed 459,000 visitors while in 2020 it is estimated that Iceland will have to deal with 2 million travelers. The surge in interest in the country is attributed to the devaluation of the national currency.