The so-called visitor tax is becoming an increasingly popular trend among popular tourist hotspots around the world, from historical European cities battling overtourism to Asian giants struggling with the upkeep of their landmarks.
In order to not be caught off-guard when attempting to travel somewhere while being unaware of existing taxes, travelers are advised to seek information in advance and plan accordingly. Here you will find a list of five extremely popular tourist destinations that are already charging visitor fees in 2022, and how you can expect to pay them:
A leading destination in Northern Italy, Venice is introducing a new tourist tax in summer 2022. Very much like Rome, Florence and Napoli, the former naval power has suffered from overtourism in recent years, as millions rush to visit its gondola-filled, Instagrammable canals all year-round.
As reported by All About Venice, the new tourist tax could start from only 3 euros, increasing up to 10 euros depending on how many tourists are staying. When visiting for up to seven straight days, foreigners will be expected to pay the valid fee at the time for only 3 days, meaning they could either be charged 9 euros in the quieter winter months, or a whopping 30 euros in the busy season.
While the Venice City Council has already agreed on the new tax, to be effected in June 1, 2022, much is still being speculated in regards to how the city will oversee payments. Whether Venice will return to being a medieval-like enclosed destination with control gates, or visitors will have the fee added to their accommodation costs, it is still a mystery.
Recently, Italy has also introduced a “Super Green Pass” aiming to facilitate travel for those who have been vaccinated against Covid. As one of the strictest countries in Europe when it comes to entry restrictions, it now requires Americans to be vaccinated in order to visit museums and travel between different cities, as well as checking in to hotels, ski resorts, and leisure complexes.
Thailand, The Country
In the bucket list of many, Thailand has announced it will start requiring tourists to pay a $9 fee, starting April. According to the local Tourism Authority, a portion of the fee will be reinvested in infrastructure and the development of attractions. It will also be used to cover healthcare costs of tourists who visit Thailand without health insurance.
Currently, Thailand is facing an ongoing wave of Covid infections led by the Omicron variant, which may lead more tourists to fall ill while traveling. According to Thai tourism representative Yuthasak Suparson, there have been “several examples of travelers in hospital without adequate insurance policies”. The new fee will hopefully ease that burden.
With the tourism fee coming into force only in April, we still do not know whether visitors will be expected to pay it separately in advance, on arrival to Thailand, or whether it will be automatically added to accommodation costs. On the Covid front, Thailand’s quarantine-free entry program has resumed and the country is once again ready to welcome North American and European travelers.
Isla Mujeres, Mexico
A seasonal favorite among U.S. citizens, Isla Mujeres in Mexico has joined the ranks of destinations requiring visitor taxes. The island is one of the new hotspots where Mexico’s “Environmental Sanitation Tax” has been enacted, as of January 1, 2022.
As observed in a number of other destinations, tourists are usually taxed for overnight stays or longer séjours. However, when it comes to Isla Mujeres, even those hoping to reach the island from the Mexican mainland for a daytrip will be taxed.
Since January, those who visit Isla Mujeres without spending the night have been charged a fee of roughly 17.92 Mexican peso by nautical companies, although that is already expected to rise to 19.24 in February. This has sparked fear more municipalities in the Riviera Maya might follow suit in increasing taxes.
When staying overnight in Isla Mujeres, American tourists, as well as other foreign visitors, are charged 28.86 peso per night, per person. In a press release addressing the fee, authorities affirmed that the objective is to contribute to the sustainability of the municipality.
Maldives, The Country
The remote archipelago of The Maldives has enacted a new departure tax on January 1, 2022. Since then, tourists leaving the country are required to pay a fee based on their airline class. For those flying economic, $30 are debited, while business and first-class visitors have to pay $60 and $90, respectively.
And there is more: while it is unlikely you are on a strict budget traveling to the Maldives, you might want to know that, when flying out of Velana International Airport, an additional $25 airport development fee is charged. This will bring the total tax amount to $55 when flying economic, $85 business, and $115 business.
The Maldives have been open to tourism since July 2020, with inbound travelers currently required to present a negative PCR test upon landing irrespective of vaccination status. The test result must have been issued at most 96 hours before arrival.
Norway, The Country
Americans visiting Norway will soon have to add an average $25 to the costs of flight tickets. After temporarily lifting its passenger departure tax during the pandemic, in order to help severely hit airlines recover, Norway is now reintroducing the measure in 2022.
Even though passengers do not have to worry about paying the fee themselves, this could mean flight tickets might become more expensive, with 80 Norwegian krone being charged per ticket for Europe-bound flights, and 214 Norwegian krone for passengers traveling to a destination outside the European Space.
In other news, Norway is ready to welcome foreign vaccinated visitors again, having recently removed a quarantine requirement for immunized Americans. To top it off, New York-based travelers will soon benefit from new direct flights from Stewart International to Oslo, with Norse Atlantic Airlines bridging the gap between the two cities.
As overtourism becomes a more pressing problem and conservation efforts are ramped up, travelers should expect more and more countries to enact visitor taxes in the coming years. Those fees are rarely high enough to impact a traveler’s ability to explore these world-renowned attractions, but they do add extra costs to an itinerary and may be come as a surprise for some.
Fortunately, Most tourist fees are already included, in one way or another, on the price breakdown of accommodations, meaning visitors do not have to worry about paying the tax separately in a number of places.
Nevertheless, as seen with Thailand, certain destinations may also look to tax tourists based on the heavy costs they bring to local health systems when being infected with Covid, and in need of treatment while abroad.
For that reason, we would like to remind our readers to always purchase travel insurance that covers Covid when vacationing abroad. Additionally, make sure you check updated information in regards to entry restrictions for specific countries, as well as any departure taxes targeting tourists.
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories