If one wants to wax poetic, a new year means a fresh start, with opportunities to change and make better things. In the travel world, it means it’s time to start charging more for certain travel experiences. Like these…
Effective January 1, 2020, it costs more for tourists to sleep in Amsterdam. As per the City of Amsterdam’s website, overnight visitors staying in hotels or at camping sites will have to pay €3 per person per night for hotel stays and €1 per person per night if you’re staying at a campsite. This will be in addition to the current 7% tourist tax that is required.
The Dutch city is a trendy tourist destination that has more visitors than residents. It already had one of the highest tourist taxes in Europe, and now they just brought it up a notch.
For the past 20 years, international tourists who visit the Galapágos National Park have had to pay a $100 fee per visit. Over 200,000 visit the islands every year, and it’s taking a toll on the well being of the flora and fauna. So on December 31, 2019, they were going to decide whether or not to raise the fee to $400 per person. They’re hoping that a significantly higher cost will decrease the number of visitors.
I’ve looked and haven’t found anything that suggests if the new price will go into effect or not, but I’m sure it’ll be announced soon.
Venice is another very popular spot for tourists – some might say too popular. Not surprisingly, effective July 1, 2020, visitors, even those just staying for the day, will be required to pay €10 during peak periods and €3 during off-peak times.
Walt Disney World
In early 2018, after nearly 47 years of not charging for overnight parking, Walt Disney World began doing so. Whether you have your own car or a rental, they now charge you to park overnight if you stay at one of their resort hotels, on something of a sliding scale (the more expensive the resort hotel, the more expensive the parking).
However, for some reason, people in the U.K. were allowed to stay on-site at WDW with their rented (well, “hired” – all part of the language barrier between Americans and Brits) cars throughout 2018 and 2019 and not pay for parking. I tried to find out why but never did. Anyway, effective January 1, 2020, travelers from Great Britain get to pay to park at WDW resort hotels, too.
They’re Not Alone…
Obviously, early January of any year is a target for price increases. In fact, I’m sure there are other places tourists enjoy that saw a price increase this week, as well. And it’s certainly not just this year. For example…
On January 1, 2019, the Croatian government increased its tourist tax by 25%, from 8 kuna to 10 kuna per person per night. According to a statement published on the Croatian Tourist Board’s website, the funds collected will be used to strengthen Croatia’s position in a competitive global tourism industry.
Effective January 7, 2019, visitors to Japan began having to pay a 1,000 yen “international tourist” departure tax (sometimes called the Sayonara Tax), “to expand and enhance the country’s tourist infrastructure” and public services in preparation for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
On January 1, 2019, Turkey began imposing a tax on safety for tourists of €1.5, which is collected at the airports upon arrival, as per the General Directorate of state airports.
On February 1, 2019, the cost to enter multiple tourist attractions on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula increased, resulting in prices that, in some cases, were nearly double what they had been previously. Unfortunately, few people, tourists or workers, knew about it ahead of time. Oops.
But It’s Not All Bad News!
According to DW.com, because the German government wants more people to take the train, the national railway company, Deutsche Bahn, cut prices for long-distance rides by 10%, effective January 1, 2020.
The move is a result of the climate protection measures passed by the German Cabinet in December, when they cut the value-added tax (VAT) on rail travel from 19% to 7% in an effort to make train travel more attractive, and Deutsche Bahn says they’re passing this tax cut on to their customers.
The new prices apply to trips that are over 50 kilometers (31 miles), as long as the passenger travels from one railway region into another. Deutsche Bahn has also pledged to cut prices for longer trips within the same region, but it won’t happen for another 6 months or so. They’re also cutting prices on special offers and additional services, such as fees for transporting bicycles.
*** Many thanks to Lorri M. of Frugal Europe Travel for the heads up about the cost cuts in Germany!
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary