The new tourist tax, which came into effect on April 1, hits self-catering holidaymakers and cruise passengers particularly hard
HOLIDAYMAKERS are facing an additional tourist tax on their Easter holidays to Barcelona.
Visitors to the city could be in for a shock due to a last minute increase in tourism rates, introduced on April 1.
The new daily rate of £2/day (€2.25) applies to holidaymakers staying in self-catering accommodation, who will now have to pay the same rate as those visitors staying in luxury 5* Barcelona hotels.
This new tourist rate was confirmed by the Spanish government on March 28 and came into effect four days later on April 1.
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Meanwhile, travellers staying in self-catering apartments in the rest of Catalonia can expect to pay double the previous rate of 39p (€0.45) per night, after it was increased to 77p (€0.90) per night.
Cruise passengers have also been targeted in this new tax increase – until now, cruise passengers who visited the city of Barcelona as part of their cruise itinerary and spent less than 12 hours exploring the city, were exempt from any kind of local tourist tax.
But now, disembarking passengers now have to pay 55p (€0.65) if they spend less than 12 hours on dry land.
The tourist tax rate for those spending more than 12 hours in the city remains unchanged, at £2/day (€2.25).
Holidaymakers are furious that they now face an unexpected £60 tourist tax on their holiday break in Barcelona, regardless of whether they had booked their holiday before the new rate was announced on March 28.
The fee is charged locally upon arrival at the accommodation and is applicable for the first seven nights stay only, meaning that a family of four with kids over 16 could pay up to an extra £60 for their holiday in the Spanish sunshine.
The tourist tax is also subject to 10 percent VAT.
Holiday rental websites have been left scrambling to update their systems and inform holidaymakers and holiday rental owners.
Leading Spanish holiday rental website, Spain-Holiday.com, who provide Barcelona holiday apartments to thousands of British holidaymakers, have created a tourism tax calculator to help people know exactly what they will have to pay.
Speaking about the increase in tourism tax rate, Jannich Petersen, COO of Spain-Holiday.com said:“For 96 percent of tourists who visit Catalonia, the new rate of €2.25/day will add only 1 percent to their total spending bill which goes towards upkeep costs such as clean beaches, well-maintained roads, and good facilities.
“Security and extra policing for major events, such as the Lady Gaga concert, Primavera Sound festival and the spectacular Blanes firework festival), are also funded by the tourism tax revenue.”