You’ll Need To Pay A Certain Tourist Tax When You Visit These 7 Countries Around The World

by Tejashee Kashyap
You’ll Need To Pay A Certain Tourist Tax When You Visit These 7 Countries Around The World

As tourism continues to evolve, tourist taxes, also known as visitor levies or hotel taxes, have gained prominence as a means for countries to generate revenue, mitigate over-tourism, and fund sustainable initiatives.  While travelling we often worry about expenses through visas, accommodation, transportation, and meals. But, understanding tourist tax is crucial to prepare better for your travels. This, in turn, helps to make informed decisions to ensure a smooth and budget-friendly journey. Here’s an overview of tourist taxes in different countries:

1. France

France is renowned for its cultural heritage and attracts millions of tourists each year. To address the strain on infrastructure and protect cultural sites, the country introduced a tourist tax in 2015. Known as the “taxe de séjour,” it varies based on the accommodation type and location. The revenue generated supports local tourist facilities and initiatives, such as promoting sustainable transportation and preserving historical landmarks. The fee varies by city, typically ranging from around ₹17 (€0.20) to ₹ 350 (€4) per person per night.

2. Italy

Italy’s approach to tourist taxes is diverse, with each region having the autonomy to set its own rules. Major cities like Rome, Florence, and Venice have implemented a city tax, charging visitors a fixed amount per person per night.

Venice anticipates the implementation of a visitor charge. The precise date of implementation is still up in the air despite delays. To control the number of tourists, the suggested measures—which include an online booking system—include. A charge ranging from ₹ 265 (€3) to ₹ 883 (€10) is being explored to control the flow of visitors. This depends on the time of year and the number of visitors,

3. United States

In the United States, tourist taxes vary by state and locality. Many popular tourist destinations, such as New York City, Las Vegas, and Orlando, have implemented hotel occupancy taxes. With a stated hotel tax rate of 17% of the total hotel bill, Houston has the highest percentage in the nation. This tax’s objectives are to raise money, promote regional tourist projects, maintain infrastructure, and pay for associated costs at each destination.

4. Switzerland

Renowned for its picturesque landscapes and high-quality tourism services, Switzerland is a well-visited destination. Many Swiss cities and resorts levy a tourist tax based on the duration of their stay.  In return, visitors receive a guest card that provides discounts on attractions and transportation services.

Typically, fees are assessed per person per night, with an average of about ₹194 (€2.20). The tourist tax is typically not included in lodging prices. It is mentioned separately for better expenditure management. Additionally, visits less than 40 days in Switzerland are subject to the tourist tax.

Also Read: People, Foreign Travel Gets More Expensive From July 1; Here’s Why

5. Bhutan

Bhutan, a small landlocked country nestled in the Himalayas, has gained global recognition for its unique approach to tourism. Central to its sustainable tourism model is the implementation of a tourist tax, known as the Sustainable Development Fee (SDF).

Bhutan distinguishes itself from other nations by charging relatively expensive entry fees to tourists. Visitors must spend a least ₹20,000 (€228) each day during the peak travel period, which covers lodging, transportation, tour services, entrance fees, and meals.  The charge is reduced in the off-season.

6. Thailand

Thailand, known for its vibrant culture, stunning beaches, and bustling cities, attracts millions of tourists each year. In recent years, the Thai government has considered implementing a tourist tax to manage the environmental and social impacts of tourism. One may have to pay a $8 (about ₹700) tourism tax. Although the deployment was previously scheduled for late 2022, delays have occurred due to unknowns. Moreover, the money collected from this charge will be used to help travellers injured in accidents and advance travel destinations.

7. Spain

Spain, renowned for its diverse cultural heritage and popular tourist destinations, has been exploring the implementation of a tourist tax to address the challenges associated with tourism growth.

Now, Barcelona has revealed intentions to progressively raise its tourist tax over the next two years. Visitors would pay a local tourist tax as well as an extra city-wide surcharge since 2012. The municipal fee has increased from ₹240 (€2.75) as of April to ₹280 (€3.25), planned for April 1, 2024. Moreover, the only people subject to this charge are visitors staying in authorised tourist accommodations.

However, countries must strike a balance to avoid placing an undue burden on visitors. So, what do you think of these tourist taxes?

Cover image credits: Canva