• Germany's news in English
 

Tourist tax to hit summer Berlin trippers

Published: 26 Apr 2013 14:12 GMT+02:00

The five percent "city tax" will be added to the cost of each overnight stay in all Berlin hotels, hostels, guest-houses, holiday flats and camp sites from July.

The tax, which is already in place in tourist hotspots across the world, is expected to bring in an extra €25 million a year for the capital city - half of which will be fed back into Berlin's tourist industry.

Berlin's senators said this week that while the city welcomed the current tourist boom, swelling visitor numbers had put a heavier burden on the capital and its infrastructure.

Advocate of the tax Senator Ulrich Nußbaum pointed to 24 popular tourist destinations including New York, Paris, Rome, Barcelona and Brussels, which were already benefiting from similar schemes.

"We're in good company," he told the Berlin Senate during the debate on the proposed levy on Tuesday.

But the tax has proved controversial with hoteliers, who say smaller hotels will be hit because they are often not in a position to increase prices.

The city tax - which is already charged on stays in many German cities including Hamburg, Cologne, Osnabrück, Dortmund and Trier - will only be charged when tourists state the reason for their trip as "private".

Those on business trips are exempt from the charge - but they will have to prove it - for example if a company covers cost of stay. Others must show they are in the city for professional reasons by filling in a form with details of their trip.

Critics say this will not be policed properly and that people will cheat the system by saying they are on business, to the detriment of honest visitors.

"We are waiting for the first hotel to make a complaint and we will definitely be supporting them when they do," Thomas Lengfelder, of the Berlin chapter of the German hotelier's association (DEHOGA) told Berliner Zeitung on Tuesday.

The Local/jlb

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Newborn baby found in Munich airport toilets
Munich Airport. Photo: DPA

Newborn baby found in Munich airport toilets

A newborn baby was found in a toilet in Munich airport on Thursday. Police so far have no clue as to who or where the mother is. READ  

Germany probes digital rights blog for treason
Netzpolitik published documents outlining the internal spy agency BfV's spy programmes and budget. Photo: DPA

Germany probes digital rights blog for treason

Digital rights blog Netzpolitik is under investigation for treason after it published reports revealing NSA-style spying on the German public. The Local spoke to one of the blog’s journalists on Friday. READ  

Brit arrested in Munich for meth smuggling
Photo: BVZ/Zoll

Brit arrested in Munich for meth smuggling

A 50-year-old British woman is being held in custody in Munich on suspicion of attempting to smuggle two kilos of crystal meth out of Munich airport disguised as sweets. READ  

Start-up helps new Berliners slash red tape
Hate waiting in line at the Bürgeramt? There's a company that lets you pay to get the perfect appointment. Photo: DPA.

Start-up helps new Berliners slash red tape

Why waste time jumping through the hoops of German bureaucracy when you can pay someone else to take the hassle off your hands? A new Berlin company is offering to do just that - and it's got city officials fuming in the process. READ  

Michael Jackson shrine may have to beat it
A fan visits the makeshift Michael Jackson memorial in Munich. Photo: DPA.

Michael Jackson shrine may have to beat it

A memorial set up in Germany by some of Michael Jackson's most ardent fans the day after his sudden 2009 death has come under threat in a strangely emotional turf war. READ  

Ai Weiwei in Germany as UK slammed over visa
Chinese artist and dissident Ai Weiwei arrived at Munich airport on Thursday, greeted by his son and son's mother, filmmaker Wang Fen. Photo: DPA.

Ai Weiwei in Germany as UK slammed over visa

Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei arrived in Munich on Thursday on his first overseas trip since he was arrested nearly four years ago, after Britain denied him a six-month visa because he did not declare a supposed "criminal conviction" on his application. READ  

'Women-only' parking: sensible or sexist?
Regulations for women's parking spaces differ from state to state across Germany. Photo: JG-NF / Wikimedia Commons.

'Women-only' parking: sensible or sexist?

Frankfurt Airport is one of many places in Germany to offer women their own 'bigger and nicer' parking areas. Is this sensible practice or plain sexist? READ  

German offshore wind power breaks records
Turbines at the Norsee Ost farm in the North Sea. Photo: DPA

German offshore wind power breaks records

The amount of new offshore wind energy put on the grid in Germany in the first six months of 2015 has broken all previous annual records for Europe combined, a report released on Thursday shows. READ  

Unemployment hovers at historic low
A construction worker in Berlin. Photo: DPA.

Unemployment hovers at historic low

German unemployment stayed at 6.4 percent in July, the lowest level since reunification almost a quarter century ago, despite an unexpected rise of 9,000 jobless, the federal labour office said on Thursday. READ  

Lifted by cheap fuel, Lufthansa triples profit
Photo: DPA

Lifted by cheap fuel, Lufthansa triples profit

German airline Lufthansa, still reeling from the crash of one of its Germanwings planes in March over the French Alps, said on Thursday it tripled net profit in the second quarter, helped by cheap fuel. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Politics
Satire and reality blur in parody party's strife
National
13-year-old boy detained for trying to join Isis
Culture
Berlin restaurant serves up Greek Crisis Menu
Rhineland
Doctor on trial after woman wakes in morgue
Society
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
Sponsored Article
Outsourcing drives Apreel's Europe growth
Society
Police bust kinky Bavarian couple over painful love-making
Politics
Merkel brings Palestinian girl to tears
Hamburg
Amateur archaeologist finds Nazi gold hoard
National
Could Merkel learn a lesson in love from this doppelganger?
Travel
Why you should stay in Germany for the summer holidays
Sport
German press tell Schweinsteiger 'good riddance'
National
Hamburg gets a bouncing 100kg baby girl
Society
In North Germany, money sometimes DOES grow on trees
National
Hero mechanics stop Bavaria shooting spree
International
Denmark says that border controls are coming
National
Did hackers take control of German missile battery?
Politics
Munich gives gay pride green light
Business & Money
Berlin rent controls hit prices hard
National
Fighting to breastfeed in public without shame
Society
Ice cream for dogs 'gobbled up in one gulp'
Education
Are hotpants a feminist issue?
Rhineland
Lion cub reunited with mother
National
How the heatwave is cracking Germany's Autobahns
International
Why the French are more sympathetic to Greece than the Germans
Sponsored Article
Crans-Montana: International expat hub
Gallery
Police seize pensioner's WW2 heavy weapons haul
National
How to survive the Europe-wide heatwave
Sport
Is Schweini already out of the door at Bayern?
Politics
How German media shaped the Greece crisis
National
Car assembly robot crushes worker at Volkswagen
Rhineland
Weathermen red-faced over heatwave snow warning
Society
An eye for an eye? Mum protects child in playground with pepperspray
National
As it happened: Queen Elizabeth's final day in Germany
National
As it happened: Queen Elizabeth's second day in Germany
National
Queen Elizabeth II's first day in Germany - as it happened
National
Bus passengers tell fake racists where to get off
Politics
What's really in the Queen's handbag?
National
Germans say USA doesn't respect freedom
National
Yes, you CAN buy adult e-books before 10pm in Germany
VIDEO: Watch a 93-metre turbine crash to earth in slow motion
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

7,225
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd