Amsterdam to Implement Largest Tourist Tax in Europe

15th Oct 2023

Alison FoxNB: This is an article written By : Alison Fox

Amsterdam will increase its city tourist tax next year, cementing its status as having the highest in Europe.

The tax will increase to 12.5 percent in 2024, according to the city, which approved the measure on Tuesday. This will go into effect for travelers staying overnight or visiting on cruise ships.

Hester van Buren, the deputy mayor for finance, said in a statement “visitors will thus help to pay for the City to carry out its tasks. This allows us to address the consequences of overtourism and direct additional resources to keeping the streets clean and solving acute problems in neighbourhoods and districts.”

In practical terms, travelers will pay an average tax of €21.80 ($22.91) per night with an average room rate of €175 ($183.90), according to the city. That’s an increase from the previous average tax of €15.25 ($16.03) per night. The tax for cruise passengers will also rise from €8 ($8.41) to €11 ($11.56) per person, per day.

“The tourist tax will be further increased to fund the extra spending so that visitors make a bigger contribution to the city,” the city wrote in a statement. “This will also help tackle overtourism and mean that the financial burden for Amsterdammers and Weespers will not increase.”

The decision to raise the tourist tax was part of an effort “to relieve the pressure on residents as much as possible in these financially challenging times” and not increase property taxes or parking fees.

The new increase will mean Amsterdam stands alone as having the highest tourist tax in the European Union, according to DutchNews. It is also the fourth highest in the world, Van Buren told the site.

Still, some cities charge more. Honolulu, for example, charges both a 10.25 percent Hawaiian “transient accommodations tax,” plus an additional 3 percent city-based surcharge.

But Amsterdam is not alone in looking to visitors to raise money. Iceland plans to add a new tax for tourists to support the country’s climate and sustainability goals, and Venice plans to implement a fee for day trippers next year in addition to the tax it already charges overnight guests.