Barcelona city breaks set to become more expensive for Brits from 2024

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Barcelona is set to introduce a higher tourism tax (Image: Moment Open)
Barcelona is set to introduce a higher tourism tax (Image: Moment Open)

Brits heading on Spain holidays this year will want to take note of a new tourism tax hike in Barcelona, as the popular hotspot looks to charge visitors more for overnight stays.

The move comes in a bid to focus on 'quality' rather than mass tourism.

Barcelona city council says it wants to bring in 53 million euros from its tourist tax in 2023 and is aiming for 100 million in 2024. In 2022, the income was 33.3 million so the objective is to triple this figure in just two years.

It will mean holidaymakers will have to dig deeper into their pockets and pay a higher rate of tourist tax for every night they stay in tourist accommodation such as hotels, apartments or holiday campsites.

What do you think about the tourism tax? Let us know in the comments below.

Spanish island loved by Brits wants to cut tourist numbers to stop 'saturation' rridqqieqiqerinvSpanish island loved by Brits wants to cut tourist numbers to stop 'saturation'
Barcelona city breaks set to become more expensive for Brits from 2024The Sagrada Familia in Barcelona


The tax paid by those who sleep in the Catalan capital is distributed between the Generalitat and the City Council.

Two years ago, the regional government approved an increase in the surcharge and said it would allow Barcelona city council to charge up to four euros a night. This year, the maximum nightly charge a tourist will pay is 2.75 euros but this will rise to 3.25 euros from April 2024 and could increase even further. In 2021, the maximum charge was two euros.

Deputy mayor Jaume Collboni said: "The economic data for tourism in 2019 is already increasing, not in the number of tourists, but in the amount of income from tourism in Barcelona."

"It was the objective sought: to contain the number of tourists and increase tourist income because our model is no longer mass tourism but quality tourism, which adds value to the city."

According to Collboni, after the pandemic "the debate on tourism in Barcelona has been rebalanced" since "everyone has seen the consequences of zero tourism and the harsh impact it has had on the city, with some districts suffering more than 50% unemployment."

Mayoress of the city, Ada Colau said: "In 2024, our forecast is that with the municipal section of the tax - another part is received by the Generalitat - the city can enter 100 million euros per year in the municipal budget as a result of tourist activity."

The aim is to plough the money back into city improvements, such as new escalators, elevators, buses on demand and maintenance of public roads.

Barcelona isn't the only Spanish hotspot looking to implement higher tourism taxes for visitors.

Valencia is introducing a new tourist tax from December 19th, 2023, it has been confirmed, with local councils having been given the go-ahead to apply a surcharge of up to two euros per night in a move which has caused huge controversy.

February half term holidays could be hit by strikes including France and SpainFebruary half term holidays could be hit by strikes including France and Spain

Benidorm has already said it will "never" impose the tourist tax but other areas of Valencia will and there are fears that even Benidorm could change its mind if financial pressures increase.

The Valencia region includes the Costa Blanca where millions of Brits head for their holidays.

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Rita Sobot

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