France scraps tourist tax hike plan
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PARIS, France - A plan to increase tourist tax in France, the most visited country in the world, has been scrapped following an outcry from the tourism industry.
The newspaper Journal du Dimanche reported this Sunday that a draft drawn up as an initiative by the lower house of parliament has been scrapped.
The proposed tax hike would have seen an increase from the current 1, 50 euros to up to eight euros on the renting of a hotel room.
It would also have included a two-euro-a-night tax for the Ile de France region around Paris in order to fund public transport.
The tourist sector in France has been up in arms since the proposal was put forth on the 25th of June.
Frédéric Pierret, head of one of the biggest tourism lobby groups in France told RFI that he was very unhappy about how the process of the proposed bill was put forth.
“We cannot accept anything that is the result of non-consultation; it was voted on in 24 hours and this type of procedure we do not accept. There was no consultation with the tourism industry.”
Pierret went on to say that there is no way the French tourism industry could shoulder a five-fold increase in taxes.
Members of the government, including Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius had criticized the proposed measure, citing the World Economic Forum that placed France at the bottom of a list on value for money in tourism.
France attracts 83 million tourists a year. The tourism sector accounts for seven percent of gross domestic product, with annual spending by foreign tourists amounting to 36 billion euros.
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