Home Travel & Adventure Spain’s Santiago de Compostela Wants to Introduce Tourist Tax to Combat Overtourism

Spain’s Santiago de Compostela Wants to Introduce Tourist Tax to Combat Overtourism

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Spain’s Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, which is one of the most popular pilgrimages cities in the country, plans on introducing a tourist tax that will affect all foreigners, regardless of their country of origin.

With the city receiving more than 300,000 tourists as well as pilgrims each year, mayoress Goretti Sanmartín said that the authorities no longer want Santiago de Compostela to be a “theme park”.

Instead, Sanmartín said that they want to promote controlled quality tourism as well as make the city a more comfortable place for both tourists and residents.

As Express explains, the mayoress said that the introduction of a tourist text is necessary so that the city can “defend some of the costs” as well as plan controlled growth while offering an enjoyable experience for all the visitors.

“I want this municipality to stop being just a tourist destination and a theme park. I want a Santiago from which there is no need to flee due to uncontrolled tourism,” the mayoress added.

Since the city’s goal is to combat over-tourism, the authorities plan to create new policies for those who live and work in the city so they do not get affected by such a change.

The mayoress explained that the authorities are already looking for formulas that introduce rearrangement for spaces that are the busiest.

Moreover, she said that they also want to focus on controlling tourism in the historic city centre and stressed that they do not see the introduction of the tax to be a problem.

“Nobody stops coming to the city because they have a tourist tax and at least contribute to those expenses that tourism generates,” the mayoress emphasized.

While Santiago de Compostela is yet to take an official decision on the matter, some Spanish cities already apply tourist taxes.

Barcelona has been requiring all visitors to pay an extra fee in addition to the one that applies to the entire region since 2012.

The fee that tourists have to pay in Barcelona depends on the type of accommodation that visitors choose to stay in, with it ranging between over €2 and almost €7 per night.

The Balearic Islands also applies a tourist tax. The tax was introduced in 2016, and since then, all visitors over the age of 16 are required to pay a fee between €1 and €4 per night.

According to data provided by the Balearic Islands authorities, around €12 million will be raised each year as a result of the tax. Additionally, it was stressed that the money would be used to protect and maintain the natural resources of the areas.

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