They might have told us earlier

By | Category: Travel news

Spectacular views of Barcelona but will people be deterred by the accommodation tax increases?

On April Fools’ Day, the Catalan regional government in Spain introduced a hike in the accommodation tax they charge. Approved just a few days earlier by the Spanish government, it gave no time to tourist organisations to object, complain or point out the difficulties that this will have on those that have already paid for their accommodation in Barcelona.

The new daily rate of €2.25 applies to holidaymakers staying in self-catering accommodation who will now have to pay the same rate as those visitors staying in five star hotels.

Meanwhile, travellers staying in self-catering apartments in the rest of Catalonia can expect to pay double the previous rate of €0.45 per night, increased to  €0.90 per night.

Cruise passengers have also been targeted in this new tax increase.  Until now, cruise passengers who spent less than 12 hours exploring the city were exempt from any kind of local tourist tax. From 1st April, disembarking passengers now have to pay €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 will be €2.25.

I take it then, that if I stay on the cruise ship I pay nothing. But if the cruise ship stays in port for 13 hours and I disembark for just an hour, I’ll pay the higher rate because they aren’t going to go to the trouble of timing me off and then back onto the ship.

If I am on a coach tour and enter the city I would imagine that I have to pay as well. If I journey in by train am I liable to pay? And how will the authorities know that I have spent less or more than 12 hours?

But what if I drive in for the day? Are there going to be people collecting the tax at each car park and side street? If I drive straight through will I be charged?

This has been badly handled by the authorities. Do you think they have been taking lessons from the PR people at United Airlines?

PS. The figures quoted above won’t be those you pay. There is a VAT charge of 10% to add on top!

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