City tourism: Operators Update

Venice and Amsterdam - 18 January

Italian tourism tax | Amsterdam guiding regulation

 

Italian tourism tax

Venice Landing Contribution – contributo di sbarco
The City of Venice has been given the right to introduce a ‘landing fee/contribution’ to all day visitors following the amendment and approval of Italy’s budget for 2019 on 27th December 2018. This is a fee which is currently applicable for some Italian islands (e.g. Capri). Despite rumours in the press, mainland cities like Florence do currently not have the right to introduce a similar fee.

The rate and means of collection are not yet set.

The full Budget can be found here, please see page 317 for information regarding the premises of the new fee. The legislation anticipates a dual purpose:
1. Increase the City’s revenue
2. Moderate the access of large ships to the area
We have been seeking clarification regarding the timeline and the operational implementation of the landing contribution plan with Venetian stakeholders. Our current understanding of plan is as follows:
• The landing contribution is applicable for visitors arriving in Venice historical centre via train, bus, boat, taxi and water taxi. Coach operators already paying the ZTL fee will still have to pay the landing contribution on top of this. Our current understanding is that cruise ships initially will be exempt from paying the fee. Given purpose 2, above, this will attract attention irrespective of taxattracting hotel overnights pre- or post-cruise should Venice be the start or end of a cruise itinerary.
• Visitors staying in the City of Venice (including Mestre and Marghera) will not have to pay the contribution as they already pay overnight taxes.
• The exact rate and payment methods will be decided on 28th February latest. The fee could range from €0.50 to €10 pp. We expect the fee to be imposed  at a flat rate to begin with. Whether seasonal variation is likely over time, remains to be seen.
• The plan will be effective from 1st May 2019.
• For 2019, no ‘bookings’ of visits are needed as there is no limit to visitor numbers. It is uncertain if attempts to introduce visitor limits will be made in the future.

Our understanding is that the contribution could be collected through the means of transport (e.g. train tickets) or through the website of Venezia Unica, though this is still speculation. More information should be available soon, and in principle must be decided no later than 28th February. We will follow this closely and communicate any updates we may have as soon as possible.

Venice overnight tax – tassa di soggiorno
In addition to the possibility of a landing contribution, the 2019 national budget also allows the City of Venice to increase overnight taxes from a maximum of €5 to €10 pp. We are currently not aware if this will be implemented by the city or not, but we will follow this closely.
The rates for the overnight taxes from 1st January 2019 were published on 21st December 2018 here. For hotels the rates have stayed the same as 2018. The 5 nights maximum, reductions and exemptions also stay the same. The 2019 rates were approved on 22 November 2018 (minutes).

Rome, Bologna and Siena overnight tax – tassa di soggiorno
The 2019 Italian national budget has also given the City of Rome the right to increase its tourist tax to max €10 (currently €7 for 5 star hotels). We do not have any news if this will be implemented.

Bologna has announced its new tourist tax rates effective from 1 January 2019. Whereas the rate applicable for hotels in Italy is generally by star rating, in Bologna the rate is calculated by cost per person per overnight stay including breakfast excluding VAT for a maximum of 5 nights. New rates can be found here.

Siena has also changed its tourist tax rates from 1 January 2019, with tax now applicable for the first 4 nights, rather than previously 6 nights. 2019 rates can be found here.

Amsterdam guiding regulations

Proposals have been made by Amsterdam Gemeente to change the current regulations which restrict organised walking tours in the Red Light District and Dam Square. The new measures will ban tours after 6pm and the area subject to regulation is under review. The potential for adverse impact is apparent: pressure on afternoon tours and increased day-time congestion; likelihood of groups visiting in the evening without guides familiar with the rules.

All those affected are encouraged to respond to the consultation on the proposals (open until 31st January 2019). Link here or email algemene.plaatselijke.verordening@amsterdam.nl. It is important “Algemene Plaatselijke Verordening (APV) – wijziging verbodsbevoegdheid groepsrondleidingen” is used as the subject header.

If approved, the new measures would be effective 1st April 2019.

In our February update there will be a link to an Amsterdam survey focusing on business conditions and market developments in Amsterdam.

Sustainable tourism conference

STOP PRESS: ETOA will be attending a sustainable tourism event in Krakow on 6th February, ‘Managing Sustainable Tourism Growth in Europe’ run by the European Travel Commission and its partners in Poland and Krakow. Anyone is welcome to join the discussion: registration is free. More information here.

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