• Germany edition
 
Tourist tax to hit summer Berlin trippers
Photo: DPA

Tourist tax to hit summer Berlin trippers

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

EasyJet-setters heading to Berlin this summer for a budget party weekend will have to save up a few extra euros, as from July 1st they will have to pay a five percent levy on overnight stays.

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)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Exchange student 'murderer' stays silent
Police search the area near where Gabriele's body was found in October 2013. Photo: DPA

Exchange student 'murderer' stays silent

The alleged murderer of an exchange student in southern Germany stayed silent in the dock on Tuesday on the first day of his trial. READ () »

European Elections 2014
'If Britain goes, Europe is lost'
Hans-Olaf Henkel (r) celebrates the one-year anniversary of the AfD with leader Bernd Lücke. Photo: DPA

'If Britain goes, Europe is lost'

In an interview with The Local, one of the leaders of Germany's eurosceptic party talks about Europe's future, why Britain is a model country and why he will not work with UKIP's Nigel Farage. READ () »

Girls find live munition in Easter bonfire
Nane, with her father and a picture of the cartridge-laden wood. Photo: DPA

Girls find live munition in Easter bonfire

Two 12-year-old German girls found live ammunition lodged into a branch in an Easter bonfire. It was due to be lit the next day, potentially igniting the cartridges and causing disaster. READ () »

Opinion
'Fracking won't save Germany from Putin'
Photo: DPA

'Fracking won't save Germany from Putin'

Germany's reliance on Russian gas continues to limit the nation's diplomatic leverage in the Ukraine crisis. But as leaders once again explore fracking as an alternative, critics told The Local the risks were too high. READ () »

German rapper-turned-jihadist 'killed in Syria'
Deso Dogg. Photo: YouTube screenshot

German rapper-turned-jihadist 'killed in Syria'

UPDATE: A German former rapper who joined jihadists fighting in Syria was reported dead on Tuesday by jihadist sources, but hours later some retracted the claim, saying he was still alive. READ () »

Have Your Say
Who should pay for Germany’s roads?
Photo: DPA

Who should pay for Germany’s roads?

A top politician's suggestion that drivers should be charged €100 a year towards the upkeep of Germany's roads was met with derision on Tuesday. But how should Germany fill the black hole it its infrastructure budget? READ () »

Tax income hits March record
Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble with Chancellor Angela Merkel. Photo: DPA

Tax income hits March record

A record amount of cash flowed into German government coffers in March thanks to land, beer and incomes taxes, a monthly report from the finance ministry revealed on Tuesday. READ () »

Union bosses call for later starts in World Cup
Photo: DPA

Union bosses call for later starts in World Cup

German unions called on Tuesday for shift workers to be granted later starts during the football World Cup in Brazil this summer. Some of the matches begin at midnight due to the time difference. READ () »

Parents' house burnt as son went clubbing
Photo: DPA

Parents' house burnt as son went clubbing

A man who had thrown a party at his parents' empty mansion over Easter in central Germany returned after clubbing to find the entire building on fire. READ () »

Cologne secure return to Bundesliga
Fans rushed on to the pitch on Monday night to celebrate promotion. Photo: DPA

Cologne secure return to Bundesliga

Cologne will be back in the top tier of the Bundesliga next season after wrapping up the second division title on Monday evening. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: DPA
Society
Crystal meth use hits record level
Photo: DPA
Rhineland
Elderly man taped €200,000 to his genitals
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
What's the unemployment rate in your area of Germany?
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Nine ways to celebrate Easter like a German
Photo: Galerie Bilderwelt
Gallery
World War I in colour photos
Photo: DPA
Society
JobTalk: Why you should teach English in Germany
Photo: DPA
National
330,000 sign up against TV licence fee
Photo: DPA
Hamburg
School kids hospitalized after 'porno' party
Photo: Submitted
Frankfurt
'I'll get even with my old pal Schwarzenegger'
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Ten great inventions you (probably) didn't know were German
Photo: J. Arthur White
Berlin
Clashes in Berlin as refugees tear down their own camp
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Munich's baby polar bears are finally named
Advertisement:
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The 10 best German employers to work for
CurrencyFair
Sponsored Article
Why it pays to avoid banks when making overseas transfers
Mr. Lodge
Sponsored Article
How to find a furnished rental in Munich
Sponsored Article
How to make a lasting impression in business
Hult International Business School
Sponsored Article
What they don't teach you at Business School
Photo: DPA
Society
Nine jobs you can only do in Germany
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
Photo: DPA
Features
The Local List Archive - Your guide to all things German
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

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

3,050
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd