Florence and the Bed Tax

By | Category: Travel destinations, Travel rumblings

Two weeks ago, we reported that both Florence and Venice were introducing taxes per night and per star rating on accommodation. With under a week to go before they come into force is the any news how it will work? Or any news at all?
The short answer is no.
CD-Traveller spoke to a representative of the tourist industry in Florence and a shrug of the shoulders said it all. They have nothing more to go on than travel agents or tour operators in this country. So what happens if you’ve booked and paid for your accommodation before the 1st of July but your stay in either Florence or Venice is later? Guesswork-and that’s all it is at this stage – suggests that you’ll be asked for the €1 per night per star rating by the hotel before you check-out and maybe even when you check-in.
Earlier this week at the ETOA – European Tour Operators Assciation – City Fair in London, Chris Rodgrigues, the Chairman of Visit Britain, was asked what his opinion was. He thought that taxes of this sort were a good idea provided that the revenue used was put into improving the tourism offering. Will this happen in these cities or will the money just go onto a general financial pot to be used for whatever local politicians decide? You guess.
It’s all totally unsatisfactory in that with just five days to go, most visitors will only find out what’s happening on the very day that the tax comes into force. Just like the rest of us. What a way to run tourism!

UPDATE: 23 June 2010. the tax in Venice has been delayed until at least 23rd August after protests from hoteliers.

image courtesy of Florence Tourism Board

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