The tourist tax will open new opportunities for Vilnius
Today, Vilnius City Council started considering the so-called tourist fee. It is estimated that with the introduction of this toll, the capital's budget should increase by about 2 million per year from 2019. The funds raised would be used to increase the city's international competitiveness and improve tourism infrastructure.
Such a practice is already applied in many European and five Lithuanian cities. Tourist tax is collected in Amsterdam, Berlin, Rome and many other cities in 17 European countries. In some cities, this fee is up to 7 Eur. In Lithuania, the hotel accommodation fee is currently collected in five Lithuanian cities: Druskininkai (1 Eur), Palanga (1 Eur), Birštonas (1 Eur), Trakai (1 Eur) and Kaunas (0.5 Eur; from 2019 - 1 Eur ).
It is proposed to introduce a one-euro toll in Vilnius from 2018. July 1 Taking into account the growth dynamics of the number of tourists in Vilnius, already in 2019. It is expected to collect an additional LTL 2.28 million from the tourist tax to the Vilnius city budget per year. Eur.
It is planned that the funds collected from the tourist fee will be used for the development of tourism infrastructure in Vilnius and for attracting tourists to the city.
According to Inga Romanovskienė, Head of Vilnius Tourism and Business Development Agency Go Vilnius, taking into account the growing interest in Vilnius and the constantly growing number of business and leisure tourists, there is a need for active and consistent international tourism marketing in the city. the city's tourism infrastructure, thus promoting the international competitiveness of Vilnius.
"This would be a rational solution that would allow the city to implement projects that strengthen the city's competitiveness in the region, increase the attractiveness of Vilnius and improve tourism infrastructure, as well as the emergence of new direct flights to Vilnius," says I. Romanovskienė.
According to Evaldas Šiškauskienė, President of the Lithuanian Hotel and Restaurant Association, Vilnius has already matured for the decision of the tourist fee. According to her, the city's marketing and promotion of tourism to Vilnius as the main gateway to the state is necessary, and international competition is very intense.
"Currently, the budget for the city's marketing and communication abroad is not enough. Businesses are well aware of the benefits of such a fee. This is probably the first time in ten years that a business has agreed in principle to the introduction of a toll. However, he agrees with the condition that a sufficient transition period will be provided so that the accommodation establishments will be able to adapt to the changes, and the collected funds will be allocated for the city's marketing and tourism promotion, ”said E. Šiškauskienė.
The project “On the local fee for the use of the public tourism and recreation infrastructure of Vilnius City Municipality” submitted to the Vilnius City Council was prepared taking into account the proposals of business representatives.
With the approval of the municipal council, the fee would be calculated on the basis of the number of nights spent by city guests. From 2018 In July, the proposed amount of the fee per person for one night is EUR 1. In the first year, it is planned to exempt tourist groups booking at least 10 rooms, and benefits are also provided for patients, children under 18, the disabled and those who intend to stay in Vilnius for a month or longer.
The local fee is calculated based on the number of nights provided to the recipients of the accommodation service. During the six months of this year, almost 0.5 million people stayed in Vilnius accommodation establishments. tourists, here the guests of the city spent almost 930 thousand. nights.
Based on the growth dynamics of the number of tourists in Vilnius in 2013-2016. and the growth trends of the nights spent in Vilnius, it is planned that in 2019 1.27 million tourists and 2.28 million. nights spent. With the introduction of the one-euro overnight tourist tax, it is expected that around 2.28 million will be collected in 2019. Euros.
Directions for the use of the toll
The project also provides for the use of the toll. The planning of the use of the toll will take place for the next year on the basis of forecasts of the amount of the toll to be collected according to the proposed directions:
- raising the profile of the city;
- international accessibility of the city (flight development program);
- promotion of conference tourism;
- increasing the tourist attractiveness of Vilnius (infrastructural solutions).
About Go Vilnius:
Go Vilnius is the official tourism and business development agency of Vilnius. The goal of the agency is to ensure the international competitiveness of Vilnius.
Marius Kantakevičius, Go Vilnius tourism project manager
Tel. +370 610 33 894, el.p. [email protected]