Sunday 21 July 2019

Croatia is latest summer holiday destination to increase tourist tax

Tourist taxes are being raised in destinations ranging from Majorca to Barbados and New Zealand...

Dubrovnik in Croatia
Dubrovnik in Croatia

Gavin Haines

Croatia is the latest destination to announce an increase in its tourist tax, in an effort to mitigate the impact of its growing holiday industry.

The country will raise its visitor levy from 8 kuna (€1.08) per night to 10 kuna (€1.35) from next year. 

The new rate will apply to all accommodation during peak season, with the exception of campsites.

Gari Cappelli, the country’s tourism minister and president of the Croatian tourist board, said money raised would be distributed to the Red Cross, the tourist board and destinations within the country.

“I am sure that all our dear guests would gladly contribute to the beauty, infrastructure, offer and promotion of destinations in the Republic of Croatia,” said Cappelli.

While the new levy will add just £3.23 per person onto the cost of a fortnight’s holiday – or approximately €18.90 for the two weeks – it’s part of a wider move by holiday destinations to raise tourist taxes.

Hvar, where impressive Venetian-era houses proudly line the broad waterfront and bay. Photo: Deposit
Hvar, where impressive Venetian-era houses proudly line the broad waterfront and bay. Photo: Deposit

This year, the Balearic Islands of Majorca, Ibiza, Menorca and Formentera doubled their daily tax on tourists in peak season to up to €4 per night.

Earlier this summer Barbados announced that it was increasing its visitor levy, which could see families pay €224 extra for a fortnight’s stay.

While many destinations impose such taxes to support sustainable tourism, Barbados is doing so to raise money to reduce its overwhelming deficit.

New Zealand has also announced plans to introduce a tourist tax of NZ$35 (€20), which would be payable on arrival. The government said the tax was to ensure that tourists “contribute to the infrastructure they use and help protect the natural environment they enjoy”.

Closer to home, Edinburgh is looking to become the first UK destination to introduce a tourist tax. The council claims it would use the money to improve the city’s infrastructure, which is struggling to cope with a surge in visitors.

Meanwhile, councillors in Norwich, hardly a tourist hotspot, have called for an overnight tax of £1 to help the council mitigate the effects of budget cuts. By way of comparison that’s roughly equivalent to what Paris levies on overnight visitors.

One angry local described the proposal as a “great way to discourage tourists”.

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