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Barcelona set to increase tourist tax over next two years

Barcelona set to increase tourist tax over next two years

Spain’s top tourist city, Barcelona, is increasing its municipal tourist tax – with the amount five-star hotel guests pay set to rise from €5.25 to €6.75 per night by 2024.

The city adds its own surcharge on top of a general tourist tax charged per night imposed in the region – a move which was approved by Spanish government in summer 2020.

The tourist tax varies depending on which type of accommodation you stay in, and is only applied to regulated, official tourist accommodation.

Someone in a regulated tourist rental apartment currently pays €2.25 per night to the region and €1.75 to the city, while someone in a five-star hotel pays €3.50 per night to the region and the same €1.75 to the city.

However, Barcelona City Council has announced a “scaled increase” to its municipal surcharge, meaning the €1.75 fee will rise to €2.75 on 1 April 2023, and to €3.25 from 1 April 2024.

The Spanish government recently approved plans to increase the amount to up to €4 per night over the next two years.

The surcharge increase means that, by April 2024, five-star hotel guests will pay €47.25 (£42) per seven-night stay on top of their hotel room rate.

The sum is paid to Barcelona’s Generalitat and the City Council. The latter says it hopes to bring in €53m during 2023, and up to €100m over the course of 2024.

The mayor’s office said the move was part of a drive to attract “quality” tourism over big numbers. Barcelona typically sees around 32 million annual visitors (excluding the pandemic years), many of them day-trippers and cruise ship passengers.

It first implemented a tourist tax in 2012, initially setting a price point of between 50 cents and €2.50 euros depending on the type of accommodation.

As of 2022, guests in four-star hotels pay €1.70 a night to the region and €1.75 as a municipal surcharge (€3.45 total, set to rise to €4.95 by 2024); cruise passengers staying in the city for more than 12 hours pay €3 to the region and €1.75 to the city (€4.75, set to rise to €6.25 in 2024).

Barcelona has been blighted by overtourism in recent years, with Responsible Travel reporting that its port was found to be the most polluted in Europe in 2019, and tourist demand for accommodation driving up rents and forcing locals to move out of town.

Of the tax rise, deputy mayor Jaume Collboni said:…

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