Your Guide to Tourist Tax
Source:SplitShire Local economic growth can be spurred on by visitors who spend their money during a stay. Things like eco-tourism, casino tourism and travel for special sporting events all promote activity the local economy. Tourist tax is usually put in place to boost social welfare in the local community so that everyone can benefit from visitors, not just those businesses which are set up to serve the leisure industry. Many countries have it in place but it varies in the way that it works from one location to another.
What is Tourism Tax?
Simply put, tourism tax is a supplement you will pay for travelling to or staying in a certain part of the world. Tourism tax is not applied to visitors who arrive to stay with friends and family but is commonly added on to things like hotel bills. In some parts of the world, the cost of applying for a visa acts like a type of indirect tourist taxation.
How Much Does it Cost?
This varies greatly depending on where in the world you want to go. The Kingdom of Bhutan in the Himalayan mountain range has a notoriously high tourism tax to put off mass tourism and keep the country pristine. Sometimes it is a one-off fee and sometimes it comes down to the number of nights you will stay. In addition to national tourism tax, some cities also apply it so you can pay twice, once to the government and once to the local authorities. In many cases, tourists don't even notice it and consider it to be part of the overall cost of staying in a place.
Who Pays It?
In the majority of cases, it is people who have declared their visit to be for the purposes of leisure who will pay tourist tax. Exemptions can be gained for certain business visits and - in some parts of the world - children are exempt or pay at a lower rate. Source:Free-Photos
How Do You Pay It?
If your tourist tax is built into the cost of your airline ticket, then you don't need to worry. Some officials will demand a cash payment on arrival at a port or airport to stamp your passport, such as in Turkey. Once paid, you may enter the country. In much of the world, tourist tax is added on to your hotel bill as a percentage and you pay it when you settle the bill at the end of your stay. In Japan, its new tourist tax will be paid when you leave the country and will relate to the length of your stay.
Countries Which Charge Tourist Tax
In Europe, many countries charge some form of tourism tax. They include, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal and Spain. In addition, charges are levied in Switzerland, Greece, Belgium and Austria. Slovenia has it as well as Romania, Bulgaria and Croatia. In North America, the United States levies tourism tax in certain states and cities, such as New York. Provincial taxes often apply in Canada, too. Elsewhere, New Zealand plans on introducing a tourist tax in 2019. However, Australian visitors will be exempt from it. In the Caribbean, tourism tax applies in about 20 of the main islands including, the Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, Haiti, Jamaica, St Lucia and the US Virgin Islands. In Asia, there are tourist taxes in places like Indonesia and Malaysia. Following Japan's move with this form of taxation, the authorities in Thailand are also considering it. In India, tourist taxes apply but they are not uniform throughout the country.