Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Travel Tuesday: Taxing Tourists

My Personal Photo of the Trevi Fountain in Rome and its crowd.
Toss a coin into the water over your shoulder and you will return to The Eternal City.

I had heard that Rome, Italy wanted to tax tourists staying in hotels and I just found out it's official. Thank you J for forwarding me this link:

Rome to tax tourists instead of locals

Starting January 1st, there will be a tax of up to 3 euro (which is like $4) added to your hotel bill per person per night in Roma. You skip this at a hostel. If you're on a budget or staying more than a couple of days in Rome, it could add up and have an impact.

The money actually goes to preserve the city's art and architecture. I love Italy for its art, so that's not a bad cause, and even though I'm not crazy about it, I don't really mind. From all the Italy-based travel narrative I read [Current book: Head over Heel], I'm aware that many Italians try their best to evade taxes, so maybe taxing tourists would be a more successful way of raising revenue than charging the locals!

In addition, Venice is currently talking about taxing tourists to come in. ...and that's my major stop on my next trip to Italy in March!

I hope this doesn't deter people from seeing Rome, which is incredible and endlessly fascinating. ...or Italy since it may become a trend!

3 comments:

  1. I just visited Italy this past October and was flabbergasted at the number of tourists...especially in Venice where, during a 40 minutes vaporetto ride, we saw three enormous cruise ships headed into the tiny city.
    I would be fine with paying a little extra for a hotel in Rome and to get into Venice if it would lessen the crowds.
    How exciting for you to be going in March!

    Adrienne

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  2. Adrienne,

    October and March are months of the off season at that! (...or is it "shoulder season?") Venice is particularly touristy, but it's so different, so exotic, so romantic, that it pulls me back! Haven't been there since 2005.

    Sometimes you can escape hoards of tourists when you hit a city center at night, after tour buses leave or they're at their more Americanized hotels outside the town limits. Mix with Italians who eat dinner later at 8 or 9.

    I am soo excited for my trip! I'll be flying into and out of Milan and visiting Verona and Padua in addition to Venice.

    Have a happy holiday season! ~M

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  3. For what it's worth, "tourism tax" isn't a new idea...Myrtle Beach hotels have charged extra taxes like the new one in Rome for awhile now, and I'd be willing to bet many other American tourist destinations do too.

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