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Overnight Accomodation: Rome’s New Tourist Tax

Hotels, Travel Tips, What's New — By Erica Firpo on January 13, 2011 at 5:47 pm

Welcome to the second decade of Rome Y2K.  If the 2000s brought us common currency and stratified, entirely European prices for consumers goods and lodging (hint: Italy has grown out of its from the 20th century “traveler’s bargain” reputation), then the second decade of the 21st century may be about consciousness,  where tourists and visitors must be more aware  of and even in touch with their choices, especially in Rome.

As of January 1st, any visitor or tourist lodging in Rome (i.e. hotel, b&bs, campsites, rented rooms, holiday homes and apartments, and excluding hostels) must now pay an “overnight accommodation contribution”, essentially a per person, per night fee for their stay for the first ten nights of their stay.  For camp sites, the fee is for the first five nights.   The Overnight Accomodation Tax, (OAT), once collected and brought to the appropriate entities (by July 31st), is to be reinvested in promoting Roma tourism.

From 1 to 3 euro per person nightly, people are getting back into multiplication and over the past few weeks, I’ve heard arguments erupt amongst tourists, bloggers and news writers, in rent-a-car locations and on twitter about the injustice Rome’s mayor Gianni Alemanno is doing to Rome’s tourism and tourists with these appreciating fees.  Like Jessica Spiegel at BootsnAll who postulates on the recent fee and some alternatives in her article, Rome Hotel Tax, I am not privy city council’s discussions on the topic.  But I do know  the idea of a so-called “tourist tax” is not a surprise.  A few years, the notorious urban legend of “airport tax”, a charge of 1 to 2 euro to  all bi-peds who passed through the Aeroporti di Roma, spread through the city. But this is no tall tale, OAT has already gone into effect.

Whether or not Alemanno is a romanaccio King John lording over all of us in a 21st century Nottingham is irrelevant.   What’s a few euro here and there if, and this is a big if, Rome’s signage is logical, public bathrooms have toilet paper and access to the world’s most amazing living monuments is easy? Again, this may be irrelevant, but for now, consider your  9 euro for a three day stay in the Eternal City a contribution to sustaining Rome.

The Breakdown:

  • 4-star & 5-star hotels – €3 per person per night
  • 1-star, 2-star, & 3-star hotels – €2 per person per night
  • B&Bs/apartment rentals – €2 per person per night
  • Campsites – €1 per person per night

Postscript:

This tax is to be collected at the end of your stay and can be added to your bill.  If you have paid in advance (or are using points), you can also pay the tax in cash or credit card.  Children under 10 years are exempt.  Additionally, a 1 euro tax has been applied to several city-run museums, Musei in Comune, Open Bus Stop and Go and Batelli di Roma.

Additional reading: Rome’s New Hotel Tax Upsets Tourists, Barbara Lollis, USA Today

Tags: Hotels, Italy, Rome, Travel Tips, What's New
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