A tourist tax is any revenue-generating measure targeted at tourists. It is a means of combating overtourism[1] and a form of tax exporting (partial shifting of tax burden to non-citizens or non-residents). The tourist industry typically campaigns against the taxes.[2] It is separate from value-added tax and other taxes that tourists may pay, but are also paid by residents.[1]


Per diem tax

As of 2019, Bhutan charges $200 to $250 per visitor per day,[1][3] considered one of the highest tourist taxes at the time.[1] Originally people from India, Bangladesh, and the Maldives were exempt from part of the fee, but the country plans to increase fees for these visitors beginning in 2020.[4][5]

Hotel tax

Main article: Hotel tax

Many countries in Europe charge a per-day tax on rooms in hotels and other temporary accommodation. In Germany, the tax is levied by cities in addition to VAT and is called Kulturförderabgabe [de] (lit.'culture promotion tax') or "Bettensteuer" (bed tax). In many municipalities business travelers are exempt from paying it.[6][1] Spanish municipalities also charge local hotel tax of a few euros flat fee. In Greece the hotel tax, charged from 2018, ranges from 0.50 euros to 4 euros. Romania, in addition to other tourist taxes, charges 1% of the price of the accommodation nationally.[1] Many US states and municipalities charge hotel tax. The highest rate is Houston at 17% of the cost of lodging daily.[1][7]

In the Netherlands, cruising tax is also charged for people staying in cruise ships docked in the city, while separate taxes target people staying in hotels.[1]

Restaurant tax

Taxes on restaurants can also be considered a form of tourist tax.[2]

Arrival tax

In 2019, New Zealand was planning to institute a $35 arrival tax for visitors from countries beyond the Pacific region. It was estimated to raise NZ$80 million annually and reduce the number of visitors by 20,000 annually.[1][8] Venice introduced a 10-euro entrance fee in 2018, and Civita di Bagnoregio charges a 5-euro entry fee as of 2019.[1]

Departure tax

Main article: Departure tax

Most Caribbean countries charge a departure tax (in 2019, it was $51 in Antigua and Barbuda, and $15 in Bahamas) which is automatically added to airline fares. As of 2019, Japan charged a 1,000-yen "sayonara tax" to visitors leaving the country. Proceeds were used to fund the 2020 Summer Olympics, which were scheduled to be held in Tokyo. Indonesia charges a departure tax, but it differs depending on the airport.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Christine, Theresa (27 February 2019). "41 countries around the world that charge a tourist tax". Insider. Retrieved 23 April 2020.
  2. ^ a b Dwyer, L. (2007). International Handbook on the Economics of Tourism. Edward Elgar Publishing. p. 252. ISBN 978-1-84720-163-8.
  3. ^ Lester V. Ledesma. "5 reasons Bhutan is worth the US$250 daily fee". CNN. Retrieved 23 April 2020.
  4. ^ Sarkar, Debasis (21 November 2019). "Bhutan's tourist policy revamp may hit travel operators in eastern India". The Economic Times. Retrieved 23 April 2020.
  5. ^ "Bhutan taxes tourists". TTR Weekly. January 2020. Retrieved 23 April 2020.
  6. ^ "Bettensteuer Deutschland – Alle Formulare zur Befreiung". www.bettensteuer.de. Retrieved 23 April 2020.
  7. ^ Novack, Janet (1 October 2012). "Travelers Alert: The 10 U.S. Cities That Tax Tourists The Most". Forbes. Retrieved 25 April 2020.
  8. ^ Cheng, Derek (7 January 2019). "New foreign tourist tax – vital funds for industry or unnecessary tax grab?". NZ Herald. Retrieved 23 April 2020.