Authorities in Rome implemented a new tourism task over the New Year Holiday. If you stay at a four or five star hotel, you will have to pay an extra €3 per person per night, or €2 per person per night for a three star or less hotel. If you choose to camp, it’s an additional €1 per person per night. The worst aspect of this wrongheaded tax is that you must pay it in CASH on departure! The good news is that the tax only has to be paid for the first ten nights of your stay (about 7 nights longer than the average visit) and does not apply to guests younger than 10 years (or to anyone staying at youth hostels). See this article in the Daily Mail for more details
While the new tax is designed, in part, to help the city with maintenance costs related to is large number of visitors, the fees will also be used to promote Rome as a tourist destination – to attract more people that can be taxed for visiting. Has Rome forgotten how much money tourists spend while visiting? Or that we pay entrance fees to explore numerous of the Eternal City’s attractions. Well, they know they have a captive audience, since you can only see Rome when in Rome.
Even though the fee is modest, we suspect that people will be irritated by this gratuitous fee, enraged by the requirement to pay in cash and maybe they will cut their trip short to compensate. Unfortunately, we have a feeling we are just spitting into the wind, as more and more destinations will begin to charge additional travel taxes, just like Rome. Eventually everyone will begin wondering – “Where did all the tourists go?” That’s easy, we stayed home because we could not afford to travel. Why — well, it seems that our own governments raised taxes on income and airline tickets while we were reading about the tax increase for tourists visiting Rome. Happy New Year.
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