Rome set to hike tourist tax for coach tours to limit Colosseum and Vatican …

  • Proposal would see the daily permit for coaches increase to ‘ 1,000
  • That means a visitor in a group of 40 would pay ‘ 33 in local taxes a night
  • Travel firms are outraged and reconsidering their trips to the capital

By Chris Kitching for MailOnline1

Published: 13:14 GMT, 24 September 2015 | Updated: 13:51 GMT, 24 September 2015

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Holidaymakers may soon be forced to spend more when they visit Rome, with the Italian capital considering a massive tourist tax increase for 2016. Changes proposed by Rome s council would see the existing daily permit for coaches soar from ‘ 200 to ‘ 1,000 ( 150 to 750) a staggering increase of 500 per cent to limit congestion around sights such as the Colosseum and Vatican during The Eternal City’s Jubilee year in 2016. That means a visitor in a group of 40 people staying in a four-star hotel would pay ‘ 33 ( 25) in local taxes a night, said the European Tourism Association (ETOA), which has spoken out against the proposal.

Rome Set To Hike Tourist Tax For Coach Tours To Limit Colosseum And Vatican ...

The existing daily permit for coaches would soar from ‘ 200 to ‘ 1,000 a staggering increase of 500 per cent

The ETOA said the proposal is all out of proportion and threatens prepaid contracts for travel next year, as travel firms have just three months to incorporate the extra costs. It said in a statement: It is yet another cost that is making Rome an expensive and unpredictable destination. As a result tour operators who are part of the ETOA are reconsidering their visits to Rome.

The ETOA complained they have already had to contend with a doubling of accommodation taxes at very short notice. The organisation said: The assessor has said that this increase is designed to act as a deterrent and force groups to travel on existing public transport to the various sites within the centre of Rome, a move that had disastrous consequences in the Jubilee of 2000. Instead of being viewed as part of the problem, coach tourism should be seen as a solution and an extension of public transport, the ETOA argued.

Rome Set To Hike Tourist Tax For Coach Tours To Limit Colosseum And Vatican ...

A visitor in a group of 40 would pay ‘ 33 in local taxes a night (pictured: tourists at Rome’s Spanish Steps)

If there is a stress on the city of Rome from coach transport, it is not because these monsters of the road are invading the city, but because a proper plan has never been put in place to accommodate them. The group is calling on Rome s council to scrap its proposed increase and work with coach firms on a solution, or face losing jobs and tourists spending money. Tom Jenkins, CEO of ETO, added: Coaches are a form of public transport, to move guests from one bus to another serves no purpose.

They occupy the road space of two cars with the emissions of four, yet hold up to 57 people.

So the behaviour seems vicious and irrational, with no regard to practicality or planning. What will these visitors receive in return for this increase?

That this was announced in the same month as the bid for the 2024 Olympic Games shows that the aspirations of Rome and the reality of their organisational capability live in separate worlds. MailOnline Travel has contacted the office of Rome’s mayor, Ignazio Marino, and a city council spokesperson for comment.

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References

  1. ^ Chris Kitching for MailOnline (www.dailymail.co.uk)

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