The concept of a tourist tax is not completely novel. In Europe, countries such as Greece, Spain, and Germany have had city taxes for a long time, and hotel taxes are present in many tourist spots, including US states.

The concept of a tourist tax is not completely novel. In Europe, countries such as Greece, Spain, and Germany have had city taxes for a long time, and hotel taxes are present in many tourist spots, including US states.

The Covid pandemic had a grave effect on the travel industry, with hospitality venues, restaurants, and hotels closing, and people relying on tourism for their income taking a massive hit. As the world has returned to normal, many nations have decided to introduce a tourist tax to aid their economies and bring back prosperity to locals.

What is the concept of tourist tax?

Since 1974, the government of Bhutan has imposed a Daily Sustainable Development Fee (tourist tax) in an effort to curb over-tourism and financially benefit from the influx of travelers. This fee is used to maintain the natural beauty of the country and safeguard its Buddhist culture. Barcelona, too, applies a tourist tax that goes towards funding local construction and development projects; this typically amounts to €5 per day per person, and is usually added to the cost of accommodation.

In 2024, which locations will start to implement visitor taxes?

  • Austria: the cost of tourist tax is typically added onto your accommodation bill, and is around 3.2 per cent in Vienna.
  • Belgium: in Brussels tourist tax is mainly below £3.50, and is added onto your accommodation bill, but it varies from city to city.
  • Bhutan: since September 2023, the daily Sustainable Development Fee in Bhutan has dropped to £157 for adults.
  • Bulgaria: tourist tax in Bulgaria varies on destination and hotel standard, but it is usually below £1.30.
  • Caribbean Islands: most of the Caribbean islands charge tourist tax, and the price ranges depending on the island – in St Lucia, for example, it is around 8 per cent, whereas in the Dominican Republic it is 18 per cent.
  • Croatia: the cost of tourist tax in Croatia depends on the season you are travelling in and where you are staying, but it ranges from 20p to 70p per day.
  • Czech Republic: in Prague, tourist tax typically costs around CZK 50 per night (around £1.71).
  • France: here tourist tax is based on a municipal rate, but standard cost is between 20p and £4.30 per night.
  • Germany: it varies from city to city – in Berlin, the standard tourist tax is five per cent of the accommodation price.
  • Greece: the price you pay in Greece depends on the standard and size of your accommodation. It shouldn’t be more than £3.50 per night.
  • Hungary: travellers should expect to pay four per cent of the cost of accommodation per night.
  • Italy: depending on the city, tourist tax can be somewhere between 80p and £6.10 per night.
  • Japan: if you’re travelling to Japan, expect to pay 1,000 yen (about £5.50) in tourist tax.
  • Malaysia: in 2023, the cost of tourist tax across Malaysia is £1.68 per night.
  • New Zealand: travellers visiting New Zealand have to pay an International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL) which costs $35 NZD (£16.80)
  • Portugal: this country charges tourist tax in 13 cities, including Lisbon and Porto. The cost is £1.75 per night.
  • Thailand: the expected tourist tax for travellers visiting Thailand is around (£6.83.
  • The Netherlands: Amsterdam is one of Europe’s most expensive places for tourist tax – currently the rate states at seven per cent of accommodation price plus a flat rate of €3 (£2.61)per person per night
  • Switzerland: the price of tourist tax here varies depending on the destination, and it ranges from about CHF 2 (£1.81) to CHF 7 (£6.34) per person per night.
  • Slovenia: again, the rate changes from destination to destination (it is higher in cities than in more rural areas), but generally the cost is around €3 (£2.61)
  • Spain: several cities in Spain have recently decided to raise the price of tourist tax, and other cities are in discussions about following suit. In Barcelona, the fee is €4 (£3.48), whereas in the Balearic Islands the fee is between €1 (87p).
  • USA: when travelling to the USA from the UK, visitors need to apply for an ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorisation), which is a type of visa allowing travellers to stay in the country for up to 90 stays. It is valid for two years. The cost of an ESTA is $21 (about £17)

In April, deciding on a vacation destination can be a great way to take a break from the everyday. Whether you’re looking for a beach getaway, a city break, or an outdoor adventure, there are plenty of locations to choose from.