Florence Tourist Tax to Increase on April 1
The city of Florence will increase the tourist tax starting on April 1, which will make it the most expensive city in Italy for people to stay.
This tax will raise prices on any property rented to visitors for short-term accommodations in Florence, ranging from hotels and Airbnbs to campsites and hostels. The trade associations Confesercenti Florence, Aia Federalberghi Florence and Confindustria stand against this decision in the belief that it will turn visitors away.
This decision comes three years after the start of Covid-19 crisis. The escalation of the tax could risk the amount of business that hotels attract–especially those in the city center–after temporary closures due to the pandemic. Florence’s tourist industry suffered great losses because of the strict lockdown and travel restrictions put in place at various times from March 2020 to early 2022.
Tourist tax for hotels ranges according to the number of stars. Since the approval of the increase, the fee will change to:
1-star hotel: € 3.50 per night;
2-star hotel: € 4.50 per night;
3-star hotel: € 6 per night;
4-star hotel: € 7 per night;
5-star hotel: € 8 per night.
In contrast to 2022, when the cost was:
1-star hotel: € 3 per night;
2-star hotel: € 4 per night;
3-star hotel: € 4.50 per night;
4-star hotel: € 4.90 per night;
5-star hotel: € 5 per night.
For rentals such as Airbnb and bed and breakfasts, the tax will be raised from €4 to €5.50 per night. In the greater Florence metropolitan area, country bed and breakfasts fees will also increase from €4 to €5.50 per night.
Alessia Bettini, deputy mayor of Florence, and Giovanni Bettarini, the city councillor for the budget, spoke out on why Palazzo Vecchio came to this decision.
“We don’t think it is right that only the Florentines support the effort that a city like ours makes to host more than 20 times the number of inhabitants.”
In 2022, Florence had 367,874 inhabitants. According to Bettini and Bettarini, Florence normally draws more than 7,357,480 tourists a year.
A Florence hotel owner, who wished to remain anonymous, said the tax should apply to short-term apartment rentals in addition to businesses dealing exclusively with tourists, so that overall the rate would decrease, and also that is should be lower in off-season (Nov. – Feb.), as it is in Venice.
With the number of travelers rapidly growing after the pandemic, the rise in the tax could influence tourists’ decisions on where to stay while visiting Florence. The increase causing concern to those especially in the hotel sector, specifically because it could discourage tourists from booking rooms in the city, prompting them to find cheaper options further away. (abby capra)