Tourist tax is still not transparent


Worldwide, the prices of plane tickets and hotels are dropping in order to attract more clients and get this crisis over with and the money moving, so the media keeps telling us. A few years ago, we saw plane tickets drop significantly, with one company raising their prices instead: Air France KLM back when it was still KLM and Dutch if I remember correctly.

Dutch municipalities have a similar, funny way of stimulating their local economy: some 169 municipalities have decided to raise their tourist tax, while only four have decided to lower it. There are 431 municipalities in the Netherlands and as a whole they earn 100 million euro a year with tourist tax, which is a tax per person per night tacked onto hotel room prices that are often hard to find even in the fine print. In other words, when people book hotel rooms online, tourist tax is often not mentioned because the municipality in question as well as certain hotels according to many complaints I’ve seen on telly are not forthcoming about the amount of tax. Legally, booking sites are obliged to mention all costs, but apparently, that’s not happening properly everywhere.

Interestingly, a big city like Rotterdam doesn’t apply tourist tax at all, and one fourth of all 431 municipalities do not apply tourist tax either. Roosendaal, a city that pretty much borders Belgium, has raised its tourist tax by a whopping 122 percent as has De Marne in the North.


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