Barcelona’s tourist tax will be increased over the next two years, city authorities have announced. Ever since 2012, the visitor hotspot has added an extra fee on top of the region-wide tourist tax. This is because Barcelona is Spain’s most visited city, and like many other cities across the world, it struggles with the challenges of overtourism.
While the city’s surcharge varies depending on the type of visitor accommodation and is only levied on official tourist lodging, visitors to Barcelona have to pay both the regional tourist tax and the city-wide surcharge.
For guests in rental accommodation, the nightly tax costs €4 – with €2.25 going to the region and €1.75 to the city.
Those who stay in a five star hotel also pay €1.75 to the city while the regional tax rises to €3.50.
Cruise passengers spending more than 12 hours in the city pay €3 to the region and €1.75 to the city.
With the announcement of an increase in the municipal surcharge, which will take place over two years, there will be a change coming on in April, 2023. From April 1, 2023, visitors to Barcelona will have to pay €2.75 – an increase of €1 per night.
The second increase will happen next year on 1 April 2024. That’s when the fee will rise to €3.25.
What would that essentially mean? It means that guests in five-star accommodation will pay a total of €6.75 per night – €47.25 per person for a week’s stay.
This move, to increase the tourist tax, is about attracting ‘quality tourism’ over quantity or big visitor numbers. The city witnesses an average of 32 million visitors a year, many of whom arrive on cruise ships.
Last year, new measures were launched to curb disruption from guided tours including noise restrictions and one-way systems.
The hike in the tourist tax, which is divided between Generalitat and the City Council, will also bolster the city’s budget.
Authorities hope the fee will bring in €53 million this year and as much as €100 million in 2024.