What You Should Know About Tourist Tax

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Have you ever found yourself confronted with unexpected expenses when you’re on vacation? Are the tax policies of different countries adding a layer of complexity to your trip budgeting? You’re not alone. Tourist taxes are an increasingly common practice worldwide. While they likely won’t break the bank, they can throw a wrench into your holiday budget if you’re not prepared. Continue reading to find out more about tourist tax, and where you’ll find it.

The Growing Trend of Tourist Taxes

A photo of a woman, sitting of the edge of her bed. She is holding the handle of a suitcase, and is looking at a call phone in her hand.

Tourist tax includes fees imposed by local or national governments on tourists to help finance local infrastructure, tourism promotion, and environmental conservation efforts.

For example, the European Tourist Tax or ‘City Tax’ typically applies per person, per night. The cost can vary depending on the city or region, the type of accommodation and, in some cases, the age of the tourist. The funds generated often go towards maintaining cultural and historical sites, improving local amenities, and protecting the environment.

Tourist Taxes Around the Globe

A photo of a bistro table with breakfast sitting on top, on a balcony in Paris, France.

Different countries have their own unique take on tourist tax. France imposes ‘taxe de séjour’, which applies to anyone who is not a resident and is staying overnight in any paid accommodation. This includes hotels, apartments, bed and breakfasts, holiday homes, campsites, or any other short-term rental properties. 

The tax is typically collected by the host or the accommodation provider at the end of your stay, either during check-out or it may be included in your final bill. This may vary, so remember to check the payment arrangements with your accommodation provider when you book.

 Here are some more examples:

  • Australia: The Passenger Movement Charge applies to all passengers leaving the country.
  • Bali (Indonesia): An ‘entry tax’ for international tourists.
  • Bhutan: A daily fee covering accommodation, food, and a tour guide.
  • Japan: A departure tax for those leaving the country.
  • Malaysia: A small flat fee per room, per night in all types of accommodation.

This is just a taste of the varied tourist tax landscape. It’s worth noting that some countries have age exemptions, discounted rates for longer stays, or caps on the number of nights you can be charged.

Looking Ahead

A photo of a male tourist, standing in the street of a city in Europe, holding a brochure.

Several countries have announced increases in their tourist taxes for 2023-2024, including Italy, Greece, and Croatia. 

2024 EU Tourist Visa

From 2024 onwards, non-EU citizens planning to visit Europe may also need to consider the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS). It’s not a tax, but a security measure. It requires a small fee and will be valid for three years.

As tourist tax becomes more common, being aware of the potential charges at your destination becomes increasingly important. A general rule of thumb: Always research before you travel.

Navigating international travel and finance can be challenging, but you don’t have to do it alone. Contact us today. At Currency Converters, our dedicated team is ready to help you with your foreign currency exchange and ensure secure, dependable wire transfers. We are multilingual, sensitive to various cultures, and share your drive for efficiency and savings.

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