LISBON, Portugal - Starting in 2015, the Lisbon City Council will charge EUR 1 tourist tax for each visitor coming to the Portuguese capital through the air or sea port – excluding travel by train, bus or private car. Through this tax Lisbon hopes to raise EUR 7 million next year.
As reported in the Jornal de Negocios, the tax is temporary and will be in effect until 2019, when it is expected that Lisbon’s Strategic Plan for Tourism will be finalized.
Beginning in 2016, another EUR 1 will also be charged for each night’s stay in the city, and this tax will also be in effect until 2019. Deputy Mayor, Fernando Medina, explained that children will be exempt from the overnight tax and it will apply to the first week of a stay in Lisbon, so that tourists will pay a maximum of EUR 7.
Moreover, from these two taxes a municipal tax for Citizens Protection will be created, through which the Lisbon City Council hopes to raise EUR 18.9 million.
The Portuguese tourism sector has always been opposed to the introduction of a tax, although it is yet to comment on the measure announced.
In April, the Association of Hotels and Tourist Resorts in the Algarve (AHETA) criticized the intention of the National Association of Portuguese Municipalities (ANMP) to impose a tourist tax, which it viewed as contrary to local interests.
AHETA acknowledged that while other European countries have similar taxes, these only apply to establishments located in large cities or capitals, where stays are shorter than three days.
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