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In response to financial deficits experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic, a significant decision has been made to adjust the tourist tax rates in Brussels. This move is aimed at recuperating losses from a period when travel restrictions heavily impacted tourism revenue. The proposed change encompasses an increment of €1 to the existing accommodation taxes for tourists across the region, with the exception of camping sites.

Currently, visitors contribute €4 per night for hotel stays and €3 for alternative lodging options such as bed and breakfasts, short-term rentals, and campsites. However, with the new policy, hotel stays will be taxed at €5 per night, and other accommodations at €4, maintaining the camping fee at its current rate.

This adjustment is part of a broader initiative to streamline tax rates throughout the Brussels Capital Region, which consists of 19 municipalities. The new strategy includes the elimination of additional municipal charges, creating a uniform tax rate across the region. This unified approach is expected to simplify the tax structure and ensure consistency for tourists.

The revenue implications of this tax increase are substantial. Specifically, the City of Brussels anticipates an additional €5 million in annual revenue, contributing to the region’s expected overall gain of at least €26.8 million from hotel taxes alone. These funds are crucial for offsetting the financial impacts of the pandemic, during which time the region had to suspend tourism taxes and provide financial support to individuals and businesses affected by lockdowns and restrictions. This financial support included rent subsidies for those temporarily unemployed and bonuses for struggling businesses.

The backdrop to this tax increase includes not only the need to compensate for pandemic-related losses but also the challenges posed by the ongoing energy crisis and inflation, which have escalated operational costs. Through this measure, the region aims to stabilize its financial health and continue providing essential services to both residents and visitors.

Source: https://www.travelandtourworld.com/news/article/brussels-raises-tourist-tax-for-pandemic-recovery/