In a statement, the municipality said that, in practice, the measure exempts the units from charging tourist tax on overnight stays until February of next year, since the tourist tax only applies between March 1st and 31st. October of each year.
The extraordinary measure aims to support the 24 tourist developments and around 730 local accommodation units in the municipality, “taking into account the recent evolution of the tourism sector and the reduced prospects of tourist reservations for the coming months”.
The municipality claims that the temporary measure, applied since March 2020 in response to the covid-19 pandemic, aims to mitigate the effects, on the local economy, of the crisis caused by the downturn in the issuing markets in the United Kingdom, Germany, Netherlands and France.
“Thus, until February 2022, tourist developments and local accommodation establishments in the municipality are exempt from presenting […] the monthly declaration for the collection of the municipal tourist tax for the overnight stays of the respective guests”, the note reads.
The fee of €1.50 per person per night was approved in 2019 by the municipality, after the Algarve Intermunicipal Community (AMAL) decided to create a tourist tax to be implemented in the region.
Charged only in the first seven days of the stay, the fee is intended to adapt the territory to the greater tourist demand, as well as to promote the destination.
With the collection of the tourist tax, started in Faro on March 1, 2020, but suspended at the end of the same month due to the covid-19 pandemic, the municipality expected to raise €500,000 in a year.
The application of a tourist tax deliberated by AMAL can be initiated after approval by the respective municipal assemblies, and, in the region, only the municipality of Silves announced that it would not apply the tax.