Nov 15

Catalonia begins to collect the tourist tax

Tourist tax hotel deskSince many years, tourism has been a golden egg goose for Catalonia and its inhabitants. Due to dynamic collaboration between private and public entities, the sector experiences the highest rates of growth and expansion, and has established itself as the first tourist destination of Spain. In this context, Catalonia is also the first Spanish autonomous community to introduce the tourist tax.

Since 1st of November 2012, every tourist staying a night in one of the hostelry establishments will be obligated to pay between 0.50€ and 2.48€ per night (Vat Included). The rate depends on the category of the hotel and it excludes visitors who are under 16 years old. It is important to mention, similar initiatives already exist in 23 other countries, such as USA, Italy, France or Morocco.

With the application of this tax, officially called Tourist Tax of Catalonia, it is expected to collect a total of 50 million Euros per year. 70% of the proceeds will go to the Government and the remaining 30% for municipalities, with the exception of Barcelona, where the split is 50%.

The key to the success lays in investing the money directly back into the tourism sector by improving specific infrastructure, heritage conservation and most important of all, for destination promotion and attracting new visitors. That is why it is so important to maintain the dialog and collaboration between public and private companies, and in coming years, closely watch its impact over Catalonian tourism.

As could be suspected, new tax has been criticized by the hoteliers, who fear it could reduce competitiveness in relation to other areas of Spain and decline overnights number. They also state, that in spite of other advantages and disadvantages related to the new tax, it does carry a huge administrative hassle, especially for small and medium businesses.

On the other hand, considering that in these hard times of public spending cuts, where Government has no funds for the promotion of tourism, the initiative may be a good alternative for maintaining the quality and touristic leadership. In both cases, authorities, hoteliers and everyone else from the sector should be attentive on the impact of Tourist Tax of Catalonia.

The Tourist Tax, in detail:


Tourist Tax of CataloniaH*, H**, H***H****H*****
Catalonia0, 50 €0, 99 € 2, 48 €
Barcelona0, 72 €1, 21 € 2, 48 €
Cruises2, 48 €
Nº nightsUp to and including 7 overnights
ExceptionsChildren under 16 years old


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