Which destinations have a tourist tax?

Travel can be a huge force for good, bringing not only economic but also cultural benefits. And in an effort to offset the negative aspects of tourism – or earn more revenue – a growing number of destinations are asking holidaymakers to pay a fee when they visit.

The so-called tourist tax is used for everything from building new roads to solving environmental problems, or is even reinvested in promoting the destination to potential visitors. Some, like the $200 per night charged in Bhutan, are also designed to limit the number of visitors.

The amount and type of tourist tax varies wildly – here are some of the popular holiday destinations where it applies.

Header photo: Monks in Punakha, Bhutan (Getty Images)

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The view from Piazza San Marco to the Church of San Giorgio Maggiore in Venice (Getty Images)

How many? €1 to €5 per person per night
Since 2011, busy Venice has been charging visitors a tourist tax on the first five nights of their stay. The amount, between €1 and €5 per person per night, payable on arrival, depends on where you are staying in the city. city, style of accommodation and time of year. There is a discount for children. From summer 2023, the city is expected to introduce the long-delayed day trip tax, which will cost up to €10 per day, mainly affecting cruise passengers.

Rome is a tourist tax destination
Cafe life in Rome |(Alamy)

How many? 2-7 € per person per night
Venice is far from the only Italian city where a tourist tax is applied. The capital Rome charges an even higher contributo al soggiorno, which applies to the first ten days of your stay in the city (or five if it’s at a campsite). The tax varies from €2 to €7 per person per night depending on the class of your accommodation. There is no escape if you rent on Airbnb or similar – the tax is automatically applied when you book.

Greece is a tourist tax destination
Orange Beach, or Mega Portokali, on the Greek peninsula of Sithonia (Getty Images)

How many? €0.5 to €4 per room per night
Introduced by the country’s Ministry of Tourism in 2018 to help reduce the national debt, the tourist tax in Greece ranges from €0.5 to €4 per night. The exact rate is determined by the official classification of the accommodation you are staying in and remains the same throughout the year. Unlike other places however, the amount payable is per room rather than per person – so if there is a large group of you sharing a room it will work out cheaper.

Paris is a tourist tax destination
A view of the Eiffel Tower from the Trocadero in Paris (Getty Images)

How many? €0.25-5 per person per night
All French municipalities, including Paris, have the possibility of applying a tourist tax which, among other things, contributes to local tourist development. The amount varies from €0.20 to €4 per person per night depending on the type and quality of accommodation. Municipalities can choose to apply an additional tourist tax. In the case of Paris, it is a tax of 25%, which brings the actual price of the night between €0.25 and €5 per person.

Amsterdam is a tourist tax destination
Amsterdam city center (Getty Images)

How many? Seven percent of the room rate plus €3 per person per night
The Amsterdam toeristenbelasting is the highest tourist tax in Europe. Visitors to the Dutch capital previously paid a 7% tax on the room rate, which applied to hotel stays and campsites. But in 2020, the city introduced an additional flat rate of €3 per person per night. Those staying in Airbnbs and similar vacation accommodations must pay an even higher fee of 10%. For cruise passengers there is an excursion tax (dagtoeristenbelasting) of €8 per person.

The Balearic Islands are a destination with a tourist tax
On the beach of Formentera (Alamy)

6. Balearic Islands (Majorca, Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera)

How many? €1-4 per person plus 10% VAT per day
The tax for sustainable tourism in the Balearic Islands ranges from €1 to €4 per person per day for over 16s, plus 10% VAT. The exact amount depends on the time of year and type of accommodation, and is usually paid upon departure. Cruise passengers are not exempt – ships docked in one of the four islands are considered to stay, even if they are only in port for a few hours. A reduction on the tax applies from the ninth day.

Lisbon is a tourist tax destination
The Bica funicular line in Lisbon (Getty Images)

How many? €2 per person per night
Lisbon introduced its tourist tax in 2015, originally as a temporary measure. There were two separate charges: €1 per person for those arriving by plane or boat (other modes of transport were exempt) and, from 2016, €1 per person per night during the first week for visitors of one night. The scheme has raised millions for the Portuguese city, which made the tax permanent in 2019 and doubled the rate to €2 per person per night, applicable for the first five days.

Switzerland is a tourist tax destination
Along the Reuss in Lucerne (Getty Images)

How many? CHF 0.5-6.50 per person per night
Every canton in Switzerland charges a tourist tax – but not necessarily every town or city – but the amount varies. How they are applied also varies. The one in Lucerne, for example, ranges from 0.5 to 6.50 CHF per person per night and depends on the category of accommodation. Those in Zurich, on the other hand, pay a flat rate of CHF 2.50 regardless of the grade of their accommodation. Tourists see some direct benefits – most cities offer overnight guests free public transport as part of their stay.

Berlin is a tourist tax destination
Hotel nhow in Berlin (Alamy)

How many? Five percent of room rate
Only a handful of German cities apply a tourist tax at the moment and its capital Berlin is one of them. Introduced in 2014, the tax is 5% of the cost of your stay for the first 21 days, excluding extras such as breakfast. If you are traveling for business or study and can provide proof by mail, you are exempt from the tax. In most cases, however, the tax is automatically applied to your invoice.

Prague is a tourist tax destination
Prague Old Town Square (Alamy)

How many? 50 CZK per person per night
Prague had one of the lowest tourist taxes in Europe at 21 CZK (72p), but this was increased in early 2022. Overnight guests now pay 50 CZK (£1.71) per person and per night; it’s a flat rate that applies to the first 60 days in the city. It is hoped that the additional funds will go towards the development of tourism in the city – previously the promotion of tourism was partially funded by taxes on residents.

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