Barcelona Hotel Association threatens to sue over proposed tourist tax increase
Move comes after council decides to ask Parliament to charge visitors up to €4 per day
The Barcelona Hotel Association has threatened to take the city council to court over its proposed tourist tax increase.
This comes days after the main parties in city council agreed to ask the Catalan parliament to change legislation to allow Barcelona to charge tourists up to €4 per day. This would affect those who stay at hotels, guestrooms, tourist accommodation, and cruise ships.
The council intends to use the revenue from this tax, in event that the increase is indeed approved, to improve supervision of tourist flats and the quality of life of residents affected by tourism, as well as to fund measures to avoid the build-up of tourism.
The association’s president, Jordi Mestre, stated in a press conference on Thursday that he “emphatically” opposes the proposal, highlighting that, according to him, the hotel sector already pays 320 million euros in taxes and suggested that these funds should be managed more efficiently.
Mestre argued that other sectors that benefit from tourism, such as the catering or transport sectors, be taxed similarly, and said that the proposed tax was unfair for an industry that he claimed employs 40,000 people directly and another 100,000 indirectly.