“Nothing is certain except death and taxes.” Originally penned by Benjamin Franklin in 1789, the proverb is a staple in American popular culture, because let’s face it – it’s 100% true.
And speaking of taxes…
A “tourist tax” is any revenue-generating measure targeted at tourists. There are plenty of them and their reasons for them can vary from combating overtourism to financial aid for the likes of museums and nature preserves to maintaining tourist infrastructure to helping keep local residents’ taxes lower. They’re usually seen in the form of hotel taxes, culture taxes, arrival taxes, departure taxes and per diem taxes, among others.
2020 and, to a lesser extent, 2021, were crappy years for tourism. But 2022 is a new year and more scientists are saying that, with Omicron being what it was, the worst of COVID could be behind us (well, until/unless another “bad” variant comes along…which could conceivably happen at any time. Yee-ha). So is it surprising that a bunch more brand new tourism taxes are popping up around the world? Ones like these:
Towards the end of this year, travelers to the EU will have to pay what’s called the “European Travel Information and Authorization System” (ETIAS for short)
ETIAS, which has been delayed a few times, will be intended to “increase security and help prevent health threats to the bloc.” The €7 (about $8) will be for anyone who doesn’t live permanently in the EU and who doesn’t need a visa to enter (so Americans, Australians, people from the UK, and other travelers from outside the Schengen zone). Travelers under age 18 or over 70 will be exempt.
France & The Netherlands
Air France-KLM introduced a hike to ticket prices earlier this month. It’s intended to help fund the extra cost of using sustainable aviation fuel.
This move to help lower the airline’s carbon footprint will add between €1 and €12 (about $1.13 to $13.50) to to the cost of flights originating from France or the Netherlands. The fee will depend on the distance traveled and the ticket class.
Bengaluru (also called Bangalore) will be increasing an already-established tax.
Passengers flying out of Kempegowda International Airport will have to pay 350 rupees (about $4.70) for domestic and 1,200 rupees ($16.05) for international flights. The previous rates were 184 rupees and 839 rupees, respectively.
These fees will continue through March 2026 and are intended to boost the airport’s finances after a huge expansion project, as well as to recoup their tourism losses since COVID.
Venice has suffered from overtourism for years. Lack of tourists due to COVID has actually been a good thing for them – without cruise ships, the city’s waterways are clearer, and it’s said the city has enjoyed the lack of crowds.
With that, the city of Venice is introducing a tourist tax of €3 to €10 (roughly $3.50 to $11) a day (amount will vary, depending on the season) to enter the lagoon city. Online reservations will be required and visitors will have to go through electronic turnstiles at the city’s entry points.
Residents, students, commuters and overnight guests will be exempt from the tax, which is expected to begin in June.
According to Raajje, a Maldives-based news outlet, a new departure tax has been introduced that will affect both residents and visitors. The fee will vary from $12 to $120 per person, depending upon the passengers’ residency and the class they’re flying.
Locals will have to pay $12 if they’re in flying in economy class. Non-residents will have to pay $30 if they’re flying economy class, $60 for business class, and $90 for first class. If they’re flying out on private charter jets, that will cost $120 per person.
But wait, there’s more! Passengers flying out of Velana International Airport will also be charged a $25 Airport Development Fee. That’s in addition to the new departure tax.
Norway had temporarily stopped its Air Passenger Duty as a way to relieve airlines during the pandemic. The Norwegian government has now announced it will reintroduce the tax in its 2022 national budget, at a rate of 80 Norwegian krone ($9) per passenger for flights with destinations in Europe and 214 Norwegian krone per passenger for other flights.
The rates correspond to what the fee was before COVID but are adjusted to 2022 levels. So if nothing else, at least they’re not ripping everyone off. 😉
Starting in April, visitors to Thailand will have to pay a foreign tourist fee of 300 baht (about $9). Officials say the fee will be used for developing attractions and covering accident insurance for foreign travelers who can’t pay the costs themselves.
This new fee is on top of the relatively new fees of prepayment for Covid-19 tests and pre-booked hotel accommodation or quarantine. Oh, and don’t forget you’ll also have to have Covid-19 insurance with a minimum coverage of $50,000 if you want to visit Thailand.
Of course, it’s not just “other” places that have increased their taxes; plenty of places in the U.S. are introducing or increasing tourism tax in 2022. Here are some of them…
Feature Photo: 401kCalculator.org
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