Barcelona holidays to get more expensive for Brits with new tourism tax rules

We Brits love a holiday to sunny Spain whether over summer or to break up the winter months.

There are plenty of destinations to choose from including beachside resorts and city apartments.

One of the most popular cities to visit is Barcelona.

READ MORE: Important travel rules to know for 2023 – including new EU entry fee

Based on the northeastern coast Barcelona boasts great weather reaching up to 29C on an average day in July and August.

There are also incredible sights to take in around the city from the iconic La Sagrada Familia to watching a game at the Spotify Camp Nou stadium.

You can also take a cable car from the parks up into the mountains for the best views.

Plus, of course there are beaches for lounging around, enjoying a picnic and swimming.

But, if you want to head to Barcelona you’ll need to be aware of a new cost you’ll incur for overnight stays, as tourism taxes are set to be hiked up this year.

Barcelona city council says it wants to bring in 53 million euros from its tourist tax in 2023 and is aiming for 100 million in 2024, reports the Mirror.

In 2022, the income was 33.3 million so the objective is to triple this figure in just two years.

This will mean that holidaymakers will need to pay a higher rate to stay in accommodation like hotels, apartments or holiday campsites.

Tourist tax is often not included in the price you pay for your room so you may need to check and pay your host at the venue.

The tax paid by those who stay in the Catalan capital is distributed between the Generalitat and the City Council.

Just two years ago the increase to the surcharge was approved by the regional government.

It allows Barcelona city council to charge up to four euros a night.

This year, the maximum nightly charge a tourist will pay is 2.75 euros up from 2 euros but this will rise to 3.25 euros from April 2024.

Deputy mayor Jaume Collboni said: "The economic data for tourism in 2019 is already increasing, not in the number of tourists, but in the amount of income from tourism in Barcelona."

"It was the objective sought: to contain the number of tourists and increase tourist income because our model is no longer mass tourism but quality tourism, which adds value to the city."

He added that due to the pandemic "the debate on tourism in Barcelona has been rebalanced" since "everyone has seen the consequences of zero tourism and the harsh impact it has had on the city, with some districts suffering more than 50% unemployment."

Mayoress of the city, Ada Colau said: "In 2024, our forecast is that with the municipal section of the tax – another part is received by the Generalitat – the city can enter 100 million euros per year in the municipal budget as a result of tourist activity."

The goal is to plumb this money into improvements around the city from roads to new escalators and lifts and also buses on demand.

Other regions in Europe are also looking to increase taxes to improve city services.

Venice, in Italy, has introduced an entry fee for those entering the city – which you have to pay to get past wardens and turnstiles.

If you fail to pay the tax you could be landed with a £275 fine.


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