Lisbon pads its pouch with over €18m in tourist tax

in World · 19-04-2018 14:16:00 · 0 Comments

The €1 a night per guest tourist tax charged in Lisbon’s hotels has reaped the city €18.5 million from 2016 to 2017, which was up €6.1 million on the 12 months before, and is also a reflection of the growing tourism in the capital.

Last year was the first year that all parties involved – hotels and local accommodation – charged the tax.
Lisbon councillor for Finance, João Paulo Saraiva, who presented the results in the 2017 Accounts Report this week, said the €18.5 million garnered was also significantly more than what had been predicted by the council for the year, set at €15.7 million.
The Municipal Tourist Tax was approved in 2014 and started to be applied in 2016 to all national and foreign visitors overnighting at hotels and local accommodation in the city, for up to a maximum of seven nights per stay.
An agreement between the PS and the Left Bloc foresees hiking the tax at some point, but the Finance Councillor said it is “completely premature to move forward with a rise” imminently, but he would have news on the matter “towards the middle of this year.”

“Several issues are being considered in this equation, the main one being the safeguarding of the city’s structural revenue”, explained João Paulo Saraiva, recalling that Lisbon is experiencing an “extraordinary situation” in terms of tourism, which could change from one moment to the next.
It is necessary that the council “takes care with the structural revenue of the municipality, to accommodate the structural expenditure”, should revenue “associated with the pick-up of real estate and the dynamics of the city” decrease, the councillor warned.
About the possibility of extending the rate to the arrivals by air and sea, which is foreseen in the proposal of the Municipal Tourist Tax but which has not yet come into force, João Paulo Saraiva explained that the topic is being addressed.
“When we have the solution we will get back to it”, he said, explaining that there are “operational difficulties in setting up the system”, but the idea “has not been abandoned.”
“Some solutions are being considered” that could be put into practice, “if not this year, at the beginning of next year”, he elaborated.


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