Rome has decided not to miss an opportunity to boost the treasury at the expense of tourists. Authorities of the capital of Italy from 1 January 2011 introduced a special tax on tourists. One of the most visited cities in Europe, Rome, will now receive additional revenue from each tourist, who decides to rent a room in a hotel or take a boat on the Tiber.
From 1 to 3 euros - this is a fixed rate, which the city authorities intend to collect from the tourists. The tax will be paid by the hotel guests, who buy sightseeing tours of Rome and use tourist transport.
Tax will be paid by both foreigners and Italians, who are not residents of Rome. Children under the age of 10 are exempt from tax.
Rome intends to invest revenue from new tax into reconstruction of the city's attractions, street cleaning and transport infrastructure development.
The initiative of the Roman authorities, which was considered form the beginning of 2010, managed to find several opponents in the face of the owners of small hotels, private beaches and tourist transport companies. The main claim is ambiguity of the tax collection scheme. For example, owners of private beaches in the precincts of Rome in Ostia do not know how exactly they will identify citizens and non-citizens of Rome, because not all tourists have a desire to take passport to the beach.
In response to criticism initiators of the new tax say that the expected revenue from the tax, which should make 70-80 million euros per year, will benefit everyone: tourists and Romans. City gets new investment in tourism, which will greatly improve the quality of tourism services.
Rome, Florence and Venice were among the cities which in 2006 supported a plan to introduce a special micro tax for tourists from all over Italy. Under the draft, any city in Italy has the ability to impose a tax for tourists in the amount of up to five euros per person per night. This tax will be completed in the hotel account.
Skeptics believe that the new measures could alienate a large number of tourists from holidays in Italy.