City break hotspot to increase 'tourist tax' for second time

Barcelona's Grid pattern truly comes to life when viewed from above.
-Credit: (Image: Getty Images)

Spain's popular city break destination, Barcelona, has announced a hike in its tourist tax for the second time this year. The increase will come into effect from October, but there's a twist.

The tourist tax was first introduced in 2012, adding an extra cost for those holidaying in the region. It was implemented to support the city's mass tourism, with the surcharge varying depending on the type of visitor accommodation.

Earlier this year in April, the charge rose from €2.75 (£2.33) to €3.25 (£2.75). In a bid to further tackle the city's overcrowding issue, the city council recently voted to raise the tax up to €4 (£3.38) per person from October, as reported by Euronews.

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This means anyone planning a trip to Barcelona will have to pay both the regional and city tourist tax. The regional tax varies depending on the type of accommodation you are staying in.

For four-star hotels it is €1.70 (£1.44), for rental accommodation like Airbnb it is €2.25 (£1.89), and for five-star and luxury hotels it is €3.50 (£2.96), according to Euronews. Cruise passengers spending less than 12 hours in the city pay €3 (£2.54) to the region, while those spending more than 12 hours pay €2 (£1.69), reports Wales Online.

The city tax, which is applicable for a maximum of seven nights, currently stands at €3.25 per night, and €4 for those staying in tourist apartments or stopping off by cruise for less than 12 hours. However, from October, tourists will have to pay an additional €4 to the city on top of the regional tourist tax, resulting in an increase of €0.75 per night.

This follows the announcement by Barcelona's Mayor of a clampdown on short-term holiday rentals in the city, which are being held responsible for the local housing crisis and escalating rents. The city will cease issuing new rental licences and existing ones will not be renewed.

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