Implementation of tourist taxes by popular countries in 2023

 Friday, May 26, 2023 


As the travel industry appears to recover, travellers are in a hurry to visit world’s favorite tourist destinations.

However, the concerns of the governing authorities are that there is a possibility of over–tourism as an impact of this phenomenon.

To resolve this issue many countries are turning to tourist taxes as a means of mitigating the situation.

Several governments have announced their plans to start imposing taxes in the immediate future with Barcelona (Spain) starting on 1 April 2023 and Valencia, Spain applying from the end of 2023 or the beginning of 2024.

The government of Venice, Italy is planning to validate this year’s summer whereas Thailand is imposing it by the end of 2023 or the beginning of 2024.

In an effort to balance the economic benefits of tourism and save their natural and cultural heritage, an increasing number of countries are carrying out tourist taxes. These taxes are designed to decrease the negative effects of over-tourism, such as overcrowding, environmental degradation, and strain on local infrastructure.

As travellers flock to Austria, from now onwards they will be greeted with a new addition to their hotel bill: an overnight accommodation tax. This varies from province to province and when in the charming city of Vienna, visitors can expect to pay an additional 3.2% per person per night when staying at a hotel.

Barcelona’s tourist tax will be increased over the next two years. On April 1st, city authorities increased the municipal fee to €2.75. Travellers will have to pay an increased amount next year on 1st April 2024, when the fee will rise to £3.25. These taxes would be used to fund the city’s infrastructure, including improvements to roads, bus services, and escalators.

Thailand is debating introducing a tourist fee of 300 Baht (€8). It was initially expected to come into force at the end of 2022 but a lack of clarity on how it would be implemented has led to delays. The fee will then be used to take care of tourists as there have been times when health insurance didn’t cover them. It will also help finance further developments of tourist attractions, such as the Grand Palace in Bangkok.

Venice could soon begin charging tourists who visit. The fee was initially slated for January and then the summer of 2023 but has been postponed multiple times. It is not clear when it will come into force, but it is looking unlikely that it will be this year.

Last August, several measures have been proposed to control tourist numbers, such as an online booking system. But more efforts must be in place to curb numbers – including a fee to enter the city. The proposed levy would vary between €3 and €10, based on whether it’s low or high season.

In the United States, most places that offer lodging to tourists charge taxes on the rental of the accommodation. The taxes can be as high as 17% of the total hotel bill.

A major objective of the tax reform is to facilitate and promote faster growth of the economy. Taxation can also have an impact on social welfare and inequality. Taxes can be used to reduce poverty and income inequality.

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