Tourists don't vote at their vacation destination: Tax them!

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Tourists don't vote at their vacation destination: Tax them!

Taking into account obviously that tourists do not vote in their holiday destination, numerous governments and local authorities have found a politically painless source of revenue, imposing taxes overnight, ignoring the impact of these charges on the tourism market.

The latest destination that imposed taxes on tourists this year was the Balearic Islands, despite warnings by tour operators that this will divert visitors into other destinations.

Perhaps this year the Balearic Islands will not feel the effects, as security problems in Turkey, Egypt, Tunisia, do not leave tourists with many alternatives in the Mediterranean. What will happen, though, when the situation stabilizes? Do they remember that an identical tax was revoked in the Balearics during 2002, after arrivals declined sharply...

In Greece, a similar tax was postponed until 2018 and the tourists' response to the Balearic tax may influence the final decisions to be taken by then.

This Spanish tax burdens tourists with 14 euros per person per week and reactions remain to be seen.

A little more to the south, another destination, Malta, experiments with another smaller tax on tourism.

Several cities and destination authorities worldwide have resorted to taxing tourists, in return for the protection of the local natural and cultural resources that suffer damage from mass tourism.

This was the argument that was used for the Balearic tax which was presented as a "green tax".

From July 1st, every tourist aged 16 and older will pay the levy for each night of stay. The tax will be paid either upon arrival or departure at the hotel reception or the accomodation.

The tax starts from half a euro per person per night on camping and hostels and reaches 2 euros in luxury hotels and luxury apartments.  The tax is reduced by half after eight nights as well as during the November-March period. The tax is likely to be aggravated with a 10% VAT, so the total charge for tourists will grow even more.

It is noteworthy that persons claiming health reasons for a holiday in Mallorca, Ibiza and the other Balearic Islands are exempted from the tax. So, some tourists are expected to bring along doctor prescriptions...

In Malta, the ' environmental ' contribution by travelers, starts from June and amounts to half a euro per person per night. The tax is applicable only on people over 18 years of age, while the maximum charge per tourist is limited to 5 euros for longer stays. Maltese hoteliers are enraged with the imposition of the tax as well as from the fact that they have to collect it themselves, on behalf of the Government.

Taxes on tourists, however, exist in many other places, too: In New York, the municipal authorities add a 15% tax on hotel prices. In the UK, VAT at hotels reaches 20%, forcing the local hospitality industry to demand its reduction to the lower levels that apply to other services.

Variety of taxes to tourists in Italy

In Italy, each destination taxes tourists with different amounts and scales. In general, children are excluded (either under 14 or 16).

The more popular destinations such as Venice, Rome, Florence, Milan and Siena charge up to 7 euros per person per day. In other areas, such as Lucca, the tax is imposed only during the first three days of stay.

The following table lists tourist taxes in Italian cities and will hopefully contribute to the respective discussions that have erupted throughtout the Greek Tourist market, following last week's announcement...

 

RELATED TOPICS: GreeceGreek tourism newsTourism in GreeceGreek islandsHotels in GreeceTravel to GreeceGreek destinations Greek travel marketGreek tourism statisticsGreek tourism report

 

 

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