Friday, March 1, 2019

Travelers Get Ready For New Tourist Taxes

Countries continue to find ways to increase revenue by hitting up the hapless tourist. I know there have been times I've checked out of a hotel to find, in addition to sales tax, a tourist tax added to my bill. I've been to countries that require a departure tax. Sometimes it is built into your airfare. Sometimes you have to pay it in cash, in US dollars!!, even though that might not be the currency of the country you are in.

Several new countries have added tourist taxes. Japan now has a departure tax of 1,000 yen, charge to any traveler leaving the country by air or sea. (Is there any other way to leave the country????)

New Zealand is charging a tax of NZD35 to any traveler arriving from any other country other than Australia.

And cities are now getting on the bandwagon. Amsterdam is charging Euro 6 to any passenger arriving on a cruise ship for a one day visit and Euro 8 per day for an overnight stay, even if it is on the cruise ship. For cruise passengers, the specifics of this will be invisible because it will be added to their taxes and port charges part of their cruise fare. Because of this new tax, two cruise lines have actually changed their itinerary to dock in Rotterdam instead of Amsterdam.

Venice has the approval of the Italian government to tax each visitor a city-entry fee. While the specific amount has not been determined yet, it is possible that it will vary based on the season. 

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