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“Let's talk about tax” Airport Parking and Hotels (APH) compares hotel tax rates in European Cities

The summer is almost here and even more UK travellers will be thinking of jetting off to sunnier climates, however with the recent announcement that Greece plans to almost triple their tax rates on hotel rooms from 6.5% to 18%, travel bills could significantly increase. Airport Parking and Hotels (APH) has therefore created a guide highlighting the different hotel tax rates throughout selected European cities, which can be found in the Know Before You Go section of the APH website.

The research compares the varying hotel tax rates in 24 major destinations such as Paris, Berlin, Athens and Rome, and differentiates between those that charge a flat rate and those that have tax brackets depending on the hotel’s star rating. Furthermore, the research also highlights the different stipulations relating to tax regulations including age of the traveller, length of stay in the city and reason for visiting.

Of the 24 cities researched, only four cities were found to charge tax on the star rating of the hotel. Three of these cities, Florence, Milan and Rome in Italy, charge rates from £0.70 per night for a 1 star hotel to £6 per night for 5 star accommodation. For those holidaymakers looking for more affordable tax rates, Paris is the cheapest option charging from £0.60 for a 1 star hotel to £1.00 for 4 and 5 star properties. Other cities, however, do not make such a distinction, instead opting to charge a percentage on the net price ranging from 3%-7%. The exception to this rule is Athens in Greece, which currently stands at 6.5% but, as previously mentioned, could increase tax to 18%, raising fears that tourists may go elsewhere.  

Of course there are some exemptions to these regulations. Seven cities included in the research, such as Brussels, Nice and Milan, charge no tax to children, however what counts as a child does vary. In Nice, children aged 4 to 10 will still be charged half the daily hotel tax rate, whereas in Milan children up to the age of 18 can enjoy a tax-free stay. Within the same borders, Florence also offers a 50% tax reduction for children on school trips and in Venice and Rome visitors are not required to pay tax if they stay at a youth hostel.

Some cities were also found to tailor the hotel tax to the visitors’ length of stay and reason for visiting, with travellers staying in Berlin for over 22 days free from paying tax and business travellers to Hamburg completely exempt from hotel tax. Travellers visiting Milan to assist a hospitalised family member or companion will not have to pay hotel tax upon presentation of a self-certified declaration that the stay is motivated by the need to assist said person.

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