The Mayor of Lisbon says he wants to introduce a tourist tax for all foreign visitors.
The idea is for holidaymakers arriving in the Portuguese capital by plane, boat or train to pay a 1 euro (87p/$1.37) charge per person just to enter the city.
In addition, hotel guests would be asked to pay an extra 1.90 euro (£1.65/$2.62) for every night they spend in the capital. Backpackers and students staying in hostel accommodation would be charged a lesser rate of 20 cents (17p/28 cents) a night.
If implemented, the controversial scheme would generate 13 million euros (£11 million/$18 million), and the Mayor, Antonio Costa, said all the money would be re-invested into the tourist industry.
But there are fears among hotel owners that the increased costs will put visitors off. Ruy Cupido, from Portugal’s Association of Hoteliers, said: “We have already had to cope with a rise in VAT (Value Added Tax) of one per cent this year and another hike in the price of a room is not going to send the right message.”
by Andy Moreton
The Portuguese capital has been nominated in a number of categories in the World Travel Awards 2010, including the prestigious ‘World’s Best Destination’. Luxique offers a choice of 16 luxury hotels in Lisbon, including one of the leading hotels in Europe, the fabulous Lapa Palace.