Many places, even within the U.S., charge higher tax rates to nonresidents on some goods and services.
These taxes are often most apparent in the travel industry, where they are regularly added to the cost of lodging. In theory, these taxes on tourists are used for maintenance like roadwork and street cleaning and other local improvements.
We’ll take a look at other places around the globe which recently have implemented new tourism taxes, increased existing tourism taxes or announced future tax increases.
About 5.5 million people visited Venice in 2019, and the vast majority stopped by only for a day. For the 50,000 citizens that actually live in the historical section of Venice, these day-trippers contribute far less financially than expected — reportedly less than 20% to the tourism economy.
Starting in 2024, day tourists will be charged a 5 euro tourist tax on select days in an effort to reduce overcrowding and damage to the city’s streets and canals.
Since lifting COVID-19 entry restrictions in October 2022, Thailand has seen its number of tourists explode. By some estimates, the country will receive up to 30 million visitors in 2023 alone.
Thailand recently approved a 300-baht tax that will be charged to travelers entering the country by plane, while lower taxes will be assessed for entry via land or water. Previously slated for June 2023, implementation of the tax was pushed back to September 2023. The government says money raised will be used to pay for health and accident coverage for visitors and ongoing maintenance of tourist attractions.
A gateway to the Ria Formosa lagoon system and a traditional fishing town in Portugal, Olhao is now charging visitors a seasonal tourist tax of up to 10 euros.
Implemented in June 2023, this tax will be used in part to cover additional maintenance necessary due to the many tourists who visit Olhao.
On average, 32 million people visit the city of Barcelona annually. The government has charged a daily tourist tax on lodging since 2012, but in April 2023, the municipal surcharge increased by 1 euro.
The tax will increase once more in 2024, by 0.5 euros. At that time, it is expected to increase the city’s budget by up to 100 million euros in 2024, funds that will be used to keep Barcelona’s beaches pristine and maintain other city attractions.
The first city in the United Kingdom to tax tourists, Manchester implemented a tourism tax in April 2023. Visitors are charged 1 euro per night if they are staying in the city center or in holiday apartments.
Manchester expects to raise 3 million euros annually with the “City Visitor Charge,” as it’s called, and use that money to enhance visitor experiences and maintain the city.
Places considering raising or adding tourist taxes
Next up are destinations that are considering increasing their existing tourism taxes or considering implementing new ones.
St. Ives, England
A popular resort town in Cornwall, St. Ives announced in 2022 that it plans to implement a 0.2-pound public toilet tax for nonresidents in an effort to cover the 135,000 pounds per year that the city spends to maintain its eight public toilets. In May 2023, the mayor said the town was considering a “voluntary levy” for tourists.
In 2024, visitors to Amsterdam might pay the highest tourist tax in Europe, as the current rates are expected to increase by 12.5%.
The capital of Scotland may soon charge 2 pounds per night in tourism tax as a source of funds for community reinvestment.