Amsterdam is set to implement the highest tourist tax in Europe next year, with an increase to 12.5 percent approved by the city on Tuesday. This elevated tax rate will apply to overnight stays and visits by cruise ship passengers, solidifying Amsterdam’s status as the European leader in tourist taxation.
Hester van Buren, the deputy mayor for finance, emphasized that the increased tax would contribute to funding the city’s essential tasks. In a statement, she noted that visitors’ financial contributions would aid in addressing the consequences of overtourism, allowing additional resources to be directed toward maintaining cleanliness and addressing pressing issues in neighborhoods and districts.
From a practical standpoint, travelers can anticipate an average tax of €21.80 ($22.91) per night, based on an average room rate of €175 ($183.90). This marks a notable increase from the previous average tax of €15.25 ($16.03) per night. Cruise passengers will also experience a hike in their tax, rising from €8 ($8.41) to €11 ($11.56) per person per day.
The decision to augment the tourist tax aligns with broader efforts to alleviate financial pressures on residents during challenging economic times. The city aims to avoid raising property taxes or parking fees while ensuring that visitors make a more substantial contribution to the city’s financial well-being.
With this increase, Amsterdam will stand out as having the highest tourist tax in the European Union, ranking as the fourth highest globally, according to statements from Deputy Mayor van Buren. However, it’s worth noting that some cities, such as Honolulu, surpass this rate, charging a 10.25 percent Hawaiian “transient accommodations tax” along with an additional 3 percent city-based surcharge.
Despite these changes, Amsterdam is not alone in seeking financial support from visitors. Other destinations, including Iceland, are contemplating new taxes to support climate and sustainability goals. Similarly, Venice plans to implement a fee for day trippers next year in addition to the existing tax for overnight guests. As global tourist destinations grapple with financial and environmental considerations, such measures reflect a broader trend of cities seeking a balance between economic interests and sustainable tourism practices.