A number of European countries or cities have what's called a Tourist Tax which is used for tourism related purposes but visitors don't often realise it is in place because the fee is usually incorporated into their accommodation price. This is the case in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Greece, and the city of Paris also introduced a similar fee in 1994.
In the past few years, a number of cities (and towns) in Italy, Spain and Slovenia have also brought in a tourist tax, however in these instances it's not included in the price of the accommodation and is payable by cash when checking out of the hotel.
In Italy and Spain, the nightly rate payable is dependent on the category of accommodation. For example, in Rome guests staying in a 3-star hotel are required to pay €2 per person per night, and €3 per person per night if they are staying in a 4- or 5-star hotel. The tourist tax is payable for a maximum of 10 nights.
Each city or town has its own variations - some cities, for example Venice, don't charge the tourist tax for children under 16 years, however the nightly tax for stays in a 5-star hotel in Venice is €5 per adult. In many cases, the Tourist Tax also applies to B&B and apartment stays, not just hotels.
Update November 2015: Travellers staying in Airbnb accommodation in Paris will now be required to pay a tourist tax of EUR0.83 per day per adult. This brings the owner-direct booking service in line with hotels in the city whose guests having been charged a tourist tax for a number of years.
You can use this guide to determine the nightly Tourist Tax charge in Italy.
A Tourist Tax also applies in Barcelona and the rest of Catalonia, with nightly rates ranging from €0.45 to €2.50. Tourist apartments and private houses rented to tourists are also subject to the charges.
If you are stopping over in Dubai on your way to or from Europe, a Tourist Tax was introduced on 31 March, 2014.
So, just a reminder, if you are travelling in Italy and Spain, make sure you have some cash on hand when you check out of your accommodation so that you can pay the Tourist Tax.
Tell me, have you been charged a Tourist Tax by your hotel or accommodation on your European travels?
All information is correct at the time of publication. If you are aware of any changes to the above information, please let me know and I'll gladly update this page.
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