Here's why experts say European travel could soon get more expensive

Over the past few years, many cities around the world have imposed tourist taxes on foreign visitors. These taxes are largely levied by local governments to keep cities afloat, which are at risk of suffering wear and tear from too many tourists – after all, some of the world’s most popular attractions don’t maintain their visitor numbers structural, economic or environmental basis. Now, as more tourists flock to the city, one city is raising taxes: Amsterdam is increasing its existing tourist tax, making it the highest in Europe, CNN reports .

Currently, Amsterdam imposes a 7% tax on room charges in hotels, motels and B&Bs. Now, the country plans to impose an additional tourist tax of about $3 per guest per night. If you think you can avoid price increases by choosing Airbnb, well: Airbnb currently imposes a 10% tourism tax on foreign visitors, so the tax rate is higher. The only way to pay the lower overnight tourist tax is to camp, but that still costs about $1. Obviously, this isn't a viable option for many travelers - especially if you want to stay in the city center.

The new tax will take effect on January 1, 2020. According to the city (as reported by CNN ), the tax is not meant to keep tourists away, but to keep the city safe and clean for visitors to enjoy and enjoy. Resident comfort.

Amsterdam recently increased the tourist tax it levies to the highest rate in Europe. Photo credit: Shutterstock

Although Amsterdam now charges the highest tourist tax in Europe, it's not the only city to implement one - and according to some experts, it's far from the last. Dr John Fletcher, an economist and professor at Bournemouth University in the UK, said: "Many of our cities are facing increasing visitor numbers, which is exacerbated by increasing urbanization. This is The impact is growing. “The social costs of pollution and overcrowding… Charging fees for exacerbating congestion and pollution is nothing new – even small urban areas such as Durham in the UK and Riga in Latvia have introduced congestion charges, not to mention Big cities like London. ” he said. “It wouldn’t be surprising to see other cities follow suit. "

Other changes to the city tourist tax: If you arrive by boat, you now need to pay an additional $8 entrance fee. The only people excluded from these fees are locals and children under 16 years old.

CNN reports that Amsterdam, a city of only 867,000 residents, has long struggled to sustain the demand of 18 million tourists a year.

In fact, there is reason to believe that overnight taxes will continue to increase and additional fees will be incurred to offset the effects of overtourism. Fletcher believes the best way to think about this is to remember that taxes also pay for unpriced goods such as “the environment, infrastructure and public services in a destination.”


Dr John Fletcher, Economist and Professor, Bournemouth University