Last updated 9 January 2020 | Rates checked and no change but content on future plans in San Sebastián updated. Also, no further news on Barcelona surcharge implementation since December update.
While best efforts have been made to verify the accuracy of the information, the information displayed should be used as guidance only.
A tourism tax (tasa turística) only applies in Catalonia and the Balearic Islands.
The following destinations are considering but there are no approved proposals:
- San Sebastián (although not yet approved, our understanding is the city government is intending to introduce from 1 January 2021 and plan to publish a municipal ordinance in July 2020. The rate may be between €1 and €5 per person per night depending on the star rating of the hotel).
- Segovia (requires central government to amend legislation before a tax can be implemented)
- Seville (potentially proposed €1 per person per night – requires central government to amend legislation before a tax can be implemented)
- Valencia (potentially proposed between €0.50 and €2 per person per night – continuing discussion in local government on agreement)
Canary Islands and Madrid have discussed introducing a tourist tax but are currently against this at the time of writing (January 2020).
The tourist tax (taxa turística) is decided by the local government (municipality) using the flat rate per person, per night by accommodation type and star rating.
In addition, Barcelona levies a day tax to cruise ship passengers at a rate of €0.65 (visits less than 12 hours).
The legislation can be found here and the tax revenue is used to:
- Promote Catalonia as a tourism destination
- Promote responsible, quality sustainable tourism and the protection, preservation, recovery and improvement of tourism resources
- Foster, create and improve tourism products
- Improve services for the control and inspection of tourism establishments
- Develop tourism-related infrastructure and services
In April 2019, the Generalitat de Catalunya announced €6 million of tourist tax revenue to be used to subsidise local projects across Catalonia. Up to 2018, 89 projects had been subsidised by €27 million of tourist tax.
In November 2019, the Ajuntament de Barcelona announced €4.22 million of tourist tax revenue to be used to fund seven projects in the city.
The Generalitat de Catalunya has approved for Barcelona to be allowed to introduce a surcharge in addition to the existing tax rates above. The amount of the surcharge has yet to be agreed but may be either €2 or €4 per stay depending on the time of year and will apply to both overnight visitors and cruise passengers. The amount of the surcharge may also vary depending on the location of the accommodation.
All revenue from the surcharge will be managed by Barcelona City Council (whereas only a proportion is redistributed from the taxa turística by the Generalitat de Catalunya). The revenue is intended to be allocated for:
- Improving the monitoring of dwellings that offer rooms for tourist uses.
- Lowering the tourist pressure of the worst-affected neighbourhoods so they could recover their economic, social and cultural activities regardless of tourism.
- Create completely new content that could be developed in settings that enable better dispersals of tourist concentrations.
Further details will be announced on date of implementation once known.
Balearic Islands (Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza, Formentera)
The tourist tax (impost del turisme sostenible) is known as the eco or sustainable tax and is decided by the local government (municipality).
The tax applies to visitors staying in commercial accommodation and cruise ship passengers. In low season (1st November to 30th April), the tax is reduced by 75%.
A webpage has been published to show which specific projects related to sustainability are funded by the tax.
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