Barcelona agrees to raise tourist tax up to €4
Visitors could be charged more to spend the night in the city if parliament makes the necessary changes to legislation
Barcelona is to raise its tourist tax to a maximum of four euros for every night spent by visitors to the city in hotels, guestrooms, tourist accommodation, and cruise ships.
The city's main parties agreed to the motion on Monday, although applying the tax hike will require a change in the current law regulating tourist establishments.
As a consequence, the motion's text included a clause calling on the government to put a motion for changing the legislation before the Catalan parliament.
The tax revenue will be used to improve supervision of tourist flats and the quality of life of residents affected by tourism, and to fund measures to avoid the build-up of tourism.
According to the the BComú party of mayor Ada Colau, the council hopes to implement the "extremely important" tax hike in 2020.
As for the Esquerra party, which proposed the motion, it says it "does not want more or less tourism, but rather better tourism."
The Catalan Socialists, who supported the motion, said the authorities will have to "seek the cooperation of all operators and cruise ship companies."
Meanwhile, the JxCat party also backs the measure, stating that it believes the new tax will have a "positive impact" on the city.
A municipal tax on tourism was first introduced in 2012, and currently varies between 0.75 euros per person per night and 2.5 euros, depending on the level of accommodation.