Taxing Tourists To Promote Tourism?

Promote tourism, pay for new stadiums, make up for budget shortfalls… All of these are reasons more and more state and local governments are raising taxes on those who come to visit.

Taxing the tourist is not a new concept. Whether it be hotel taxes, rental car surcharges, or an additional 1% restaurant tax, governments have longed used these taxes as a way to pay for a multitude of projects. As long as they could somehow connect the project to bringing in more visitors, they could usually get the taxes approved. After all, impact was primarily on visitors, not their constituents.

What has changed now is governments are starting to look at tourism taxes to help make up for general budget shortfalls. This should be of significant concern to meeting planners as these new, or increased taxes, will only drive up the cost of meetings. Below are a couple of articles that are worth reading on the subject of tourism taxes.

Cities That Tax Tourists the Most/Least

Cities Raise Travel Taxes to Bridge Budget Shortfalls

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention one way you can reduce or eliminate the impact of these taxes on your church or Christian group…hold your meeting, conference or retreat at a Christian conference center. Depending on the size of your event, this could be a significant savings to both your church/organization, as well as to the individual attendees.