Jun 22

Tourist Tax will apply in Barcelona in November 2012

A new tax attached to the Tourism industry will apply next November the 1st in Catalunya region. The new tourist tax will be imposed by the executive council of Catalonia as has been approved without the support of the external politic groups, hoteliers and tourist traders in general.

The law affects directly to hotels, camping’s and cruises sector and will apply to tourists and passengers who visit the region. Single tourists will pay between 1 and 2 € per night depending on the stars hotel range and has been previewed an exemption for older than 65 years, children up to 5 years, disable people or 50% reduced tax for younger up to 16 years.

Full of controversy, this new rule has caused more than complaints between hoteliers, who are observing how their business will be severally damaged because of this.

Catalonia Government intent to collect nearly 100 million €s with this burden, which 30% collected of the total amount will be bounded to help the council budget deficit, and the rest collected, will be assigned to the historic heritage preservation.

More than 60% of visitors in Catalunya, come over because of cultural motivations. Following new studies, beach and sun are not the only tourists expectation when they travel to Spain, and they affirm to look for new cultural contemporary tourism, based in culture and historic heritage. Knowing this, Catalonian business model is currently changing.

Catalunya is the first Spanish region that will impose this type of tax but Andalusia and Canary islands also, are considering the possibility of applying this tax despite the opposite of the main politic groups, too.

Far from controversy, there are many countries in Europe where this tax already is applied. The pioneer was France, who established “la taxe de sèjour” a siècle ago, thought up to help tourist villages to invest in promotion, or The United States that charges tourist within a range of 5% to 10% of the invoice.

Advantages and disadvantages of a new tourist vision in Catalonia, the debate is on the streets.

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