Global hotspots target overtourism

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Hotel taxes, also known as lodging or tourist taxes, are widespread in the United States and Europe, where they had been rising for a decade before the pandemic. As tourism has recovered to pre-pandemic levels, several destinations have increased or adjusted taxes to bring in more revenue.

Like Hawaii, Greece – which suffered severe wildfires last summer – is trying to prepare for climate disasters, and the government wants tourists to help foot the bill. Greece calls this tax a “climate crisis resilience tax” and will be collected from housing providers. The tax will be highest from March to October, when it will reach 10 euros per night in five-star hotels. The rate drops from November to February and for hotels with fewer stars. The rate replaces the previous hotel tax, which ranged from €0.50 to €4 per night.

In Amsterdam, the hotel tax, which was already one of the highest in Europe, rose to 12.5% ​​from 7% on January 1. City lawmakers also increased the tax on cruise passengers from 11 euros per person per night to 14 euros.

The hotel tax in Barcelona has also increased this year, reaching €3.25 per night. The measure represents the latest step forward in a gradual increase that began before the pandemic. A Barcelona City Council spokesperson said further tax increases would target tourist rental apartments and short-stop cruises, which contribute less to the city’s revenue. The spokesperson also underlined that the proceeds of the tourist tax are used, among other things, to finance the installation of solar panels and air conditioning systems in public schools in Barcelona.

Ahead of this summer’s Olympic and Paralympic Games in Paris, lawmakers in the Île-de-France region have imposed a new tax on top of the regular hotel tax. With the new tax, which will fund public transport in the region, a guest in a five-star hotel will now have to pay a total of €10.73 in taxes for each night of their stay, while a stay in a two-star hotel will incur a fee of €3.25. per night.

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