Monday, April 22, 2024
Home Travel Tourist Taxes At Mount Fuji And Seville—Many Others To Follow In 2024

Tourist Taxes At Mount Fuji And Seville—Many Others To Follow In 2024

by Staff

While tourist taxes are not new—Bhutan has been charging visitors since it opened up to tourists in 1974—and many countries and cities around the world already charge visitors a nightly fee.

2024, though, will be the year when lots more places join suit, partly as a means of controlling overcrowding but also, in Europe at least, to meet ambitious climate change targets.

The city of Seville receives over three million tourists every year, making it the third most visited Spanish city. CNN reports that it’s a lot of people for a city of 700,000 residents, who have had enough, particularly of the thousands of people who arrive to visit the Plaza de Espana square every day. The plaza was built in 1929 for an Ibero-American exhibition and it featured as the set for 1999’s Star Wars ‘The Phantom Menace.’

Spain is one of Europe’s most visited countries, where tourism brings in 13% of the country’s GDP and the city has announced that it hopes to charge an entry fee to the square as part of a plan to control overtourism—and it’s a plan that other sites around the world are currently considering.

The local prefecture responsible for Mount Fuji announced that it will implement a cap of 4,000 climbers per day and will charge them 2,000 yen ($13) each. Japan’s highest mountain is a World Heritage Site but it suffers from an overabundance of visitors who arrive ill-prepared and inappropriately dressed (some in sandals) reports CNN, and they leave a mountain of garbage when they leave, strewn across the foothills.

The prefecture hopes the plan will revive traditional climbing practices, linking the local cultural values more to the site, such as Fuji-ko, a religion specific to the mountain. There will also be guides who will monitor the site, advising people to not sleep on the paths nor start fires, as they have been known to do.

Data from the prefecture shows an astonishing rise in the number of visitors—in 2012, three million people visited, while in 2019, that figure had risen to five million annual visitors. Previously, there was a voluntary contribution that visitors could pay of $7.50 but lots of people didn’t, meaning the measure has now become compulsory.

Throughout 2024, several more places, cities and countries around the world will be introducing tourist taxes of varying sorts:

  • Bloomberg reports that Greece is planning to raise its hotel taxes to fight extreme weather conditions brought on by climate change.
  • Dubrovnik is introducing a tax on its visiting cruise ships to help improve the city’s very old infrastructure.
  • In 2024, Amsterdam, which has one of the highest tourist taxes in Europe will raise them from 7% to 12.5% of hotel room costs. Likewise, visiting cruise ship passengers will have to pay around $12 (up from $9) per person per day.
  • Since February 2024, non-Indonesian visitors arriving in Bali must pay a fee of $10 when entering the country, going towards cultural and environmental protection measures.
  • The Spanish cities of Barcelona and Valencia will also be raising their hotel taxes slightly. In Barcelona, officials hope that the tax (rising to a total of around $3.5 per night per person) might generate as much as $108 million in 2024 that can help protect the environment and enforce local laws. The tax is an increase of under a dollar and will only be payable for the first seven consecutive nights of any stay.
  • The Icelandic government is also planning to introduce a tourist tax at some point during 2024 that will help towards the country’s plan to become carbon neutral by 2040.
  • In 2026, Edinburgh plans to introduce a hotel tax, following behind Manchester, the first U.K. city to do so in April 2023.

The most anticipated example of introducing a tourist tax is Venice, which plans to implement a sort of entrance fee on the busiest days of the summer season. While the fee has been a long time in the planning, it is expected some time in 2024. Visitors who pay will receive a QR code that will be randomly checked inside special zones within the city—they will have to pay a fine if they don’t have one.

Of course, one of the most anticipated tourist taxes of sorts is the upcoming ETIAS scheme, planned for introduction at all external EU borders in 2025 (after the Paris Olympic Games are finished). ETIAS stands for European Travel Information and Authorization System and will oblige anyone visiting, who isn’t holding an EU passport, to pay about $7 for a three-year period, similar to the ESTA scheme in the U.S.

Additionally, the U.K. is also planning to introduce its own version of the ESTA and ETIAS, called the Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA).

Leave a Comment

Copyright ©️ All rights reserved. | Tourism Trends