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The growing trend for taxation of travel in Europe continued
after the city of Rome confirmed last week that an accommodation tax will take
effect from Jan. 1, 2011.
The tax will be €3 per night for four- and
five-star hotels and €2 per night for all other accommodation. The tax is for a
maximum of 10 nights and applies to bookings made and even paid before the
first of next year. As a result, it will affect some corporate meetings that already
have been arranged.
The Italian state tourist office said Rome's city
council is introducing the tax "to generate additional revenue for the
improvement of services and infrastructure offered to the tourist." It
follows a succession of new taxes announced in Europe in the past six months,
including a room tax in Cologne—which several other German cities are expected
to follow—and the imposition of air departure taxes by Germany and Austria.
"Travel does seem to have become a target for
governments when it has not been overly targeted in the past," said NBTA
Europe managing director Paul Tilstone. "We are in an unprecedented time
and European countries are having to make cuts or raise more revenues, but
increased taxes add to the equation when calculating the return on investment
in business travel.
NBTA Europe's parent organization, the National
Business Travel Association, has lobbied vigorously against taxation of travel
in the United States and Tilstone said NBTA Europe is planning to do the same
in the European Union.