Seven popular holiday destinations you have to pay a tourist tax
BY SERENE LIM
SINGAPORE, June 23 — Be prepared to spend more on your holiday in Langkawi. The Langkawi Municipal Council announced earlier this week that it would be imposing a “Langkawi Tourism Promotion Levy” starting July 1, that would charge travellers between RM1 to RM9 for every day that they stay, depending on the type of accommodation. For example, those in one- or two-star hotels pay RM1 per room per night, while those staying in six- and seven-star accommodation will have to fork out an additional RM7 and RM9 respectively.
Langkawi is hardly the only location to impose such a tax. Here are six other popular destinations where you’ll be subjected to spending more during your stay.
Not too far away from Langkawi is Penang, which started its “bed tax” in 2014. It’s called the “Local Government Fee” and costs RM3 per room per night for four- and five-star hotels, and RM2 per room per night for three-star hotels or below, including dormitories, budget hotels, hostels and guesthouses.
The happiest kingdom in the world is known for its minimum tariffs, which actually includes three-star accommodation, meals, ground transportation and a guide. It charges each traveller US$250 (RM1,006) per night during the high season months of March, April, May, September, October and November, and US$200 per person per night during the off-peak months of June, July, August, December, January and February. On top of that, there is a surcharge for groups with less than three people. Individual tourists top up US$40 a night and parties of two pay US$30 per person per night.
The City of Lights has had a tourist tax since 1919. In March last year, the city moved from a previously flat rate of €1.50 (S$2.30) per room per night to a more progressive tax system whereby guests in five-star hotels and apartment hotels pay €4 per night while those in three-star continue at €1.50.
The Eternal City charges between €3 per person per night at one- and two-star hotels and €7 per person per night at five-star hotels. The good news is, youth hostels are exempted, so you know where to stay if you want to save a few bucks.
5. The Maldives
Last November, the Maldives introduced a Green Tax of US$6 per person per night in a bid to raise funds for conservation. Its tourism minister Ahmed Adheeb told reporters that the new tax is aimed at protecting the Maldives’ fragile environment as the revenue will go towards managing the waste from local resorts and other islands.
The Catalan city charges €2.25 per person per night for those staying in five-star properties, €1.10 per person per night at four-star hotels and €0.65 for villas and apartments. Barcelona is also currently mulling over a tourist tax even for day-trippers from cruise ships and organised bus tours in the form of a toll. ― TODAY
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Thursday June 23, 2016