30 Jun, 2024 @ 10:30
1 min read

This popular city in Spain is set to raise its tourist tax by over 20% – and local officials want to go even further

April 23, 2023, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain: Tens of Thousands fill Barcelona's 'Rambla' as the city turns into a huge outdoor bookstore, flooded with stands of books offering the latest works on Saint George's Day, also known as the 'Day of the book' in Catalonia. (Credit Image: © Matthias Oesterle/ZUMA Press Wire)

TOURISTS visiting Barcelona are set to be hit by a rise in charges after the city council agreed to increase visitor levies by over 20%.

The Catalan capital, which receives almost 10 million visitors annually, will increase its tourist tax from €3.25 to €4 a night in a move that is expected to generate an additional €20 million in revenues.

Some councillors are even calling on the Catalan government and regional parliament to remove the current cap on tourist taxes entirely so the levy can be elevated further.

Currently, Barcelona collects €95 million annually from the tourist tax, but spends €142 million on tourist expenses, including additional transport, security and cleaning.

The Deputy Mayor for Economy, Tax and Tourism, Jordi Valls, expects the new surcharge to come into force in October.

READ MORE: EXCLUSIVE: Fuming Airbnb landlords claim Barcelona’s decision to eliminate ALL tourist apartments will cause a ‘recession’ and ‘won’t fix the housing issue’

Catalonia National Day Barcelona Spain
Barcelona has experienced a wave of anti-tourist activism. Credit: Cordon Press

The proposal is supported by all parties present in the city council bar the conservative Partido Popular (PP) and far-right Vox.

The announcement comes as Barcelona emerges as a key battleground for anti-tourist activism which has swamped Spain over the last year.

Last week, mayor Jaume Collboni announced that the city would be revoking all licenses for the city’s 10,000-plus tourist apartments, a move that landlords branded as ‘populist’ and ‘destined to fail’.

The city council hopes the move will drive companies such as Airbnb out of the city, opening up homes which can be used as social housing in order to alleviate an acute property crisis which has driven thousands of locals out of the city centre and towards the suburbs and nearby towns. 

Ben Pawlowski

Ben joined the Olive Press in January 2024 after a four-month stint teaching English in Paraguay. He loves the adrenaline rush of a breaking news story and the tireless work required to uncover an eye-opening exclusive. He is currently based in Barcelona from where he covers the city, the wider Catalunya region, and the north of Spain. Send tips to ben@theolivepress.es

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