Hotspots 'cash in' with tourist taxes

Hotspots 'cash in' with tourist taxes

Image via Shutterstock

Destinations introducing tourist taxes this summer could be seen 
as trying to cash in on their 
“safe” status.

A passenger facility charge of 35 dirham (about £6.70) came into effect on March 1 for travel from July 1 for every transit through Dubai airport.

Malta intends to impose an eco-tax of €0.50 per visitor per night up to a maximum of €5 per stay on April 1, collected by the accommodation provider.

This comes after the Balearic government revealed plans last year to implement a tourist tax of €1-€2 a night from June.

Advantage Travel Partnership head of commercial John Sullivan said: “The word tax is an immediate turn off to consumers.

“It may even be considered by some consumers as an attempt to increase prices in destinations that are viewed as safe and are experiencing increased demand at the expense of other destinations.”

Google’s latest list for the 
most-searched holiday destinations by people in the UK rank Dubai third and Malta fifth.

Abta has written to the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce and to the Ministry for Tourism in Malta asking for an urgent review of the taxes. The association also wrote to the Balearic government.

A spokesman for Dubai Airports said its rationale for the charge, which will be added to the ticket price, “has nothing at all to do with” the political climate.

“We have invested heavily in 
top flight infrastructure over 
the past years and still rank in the bottom quartile of similar airports in terms of charges,” he said.

Children under two, passengers in transit on through flights and crew are exempt from the charge.

Estimated revenue of €6 million from Malta’s scheme will be added to a national development fund and used to set up a foundation with the Malta Hotels & Restaurants Association to maintain tourist areas.


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